Bernice and Thomas were wonderful members of First Baptist Church. She was also a member of the Miriam Missionary Ministry. My husband loved giving her a hug and joking with Thomas. They made him feel like a son since he did not grownup in Gary but Mississippi. She will be missed like her husband. We know he is rejoicing now that his lovely wife is with him in heaven. A special thank you to family that looked after her when she moved from Gary. God be with her family as she receives her reward in heaven.
Louis, Deborah and Aleksa
was born March 1, 1926 to Edward and Dora Tyson Patton in Knoxville, Alabama and passed away April 21, 2020 in St. Peters, MO. Her parents and all of her siblings preceded her in death. Bernice accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior at Mount Pleasant CME church in Knoxville. She was educated in the Green county school district in Knoxville, Alabama. In 1954 Bernice moved to Chicago, Illinois and was employed for 30 years in the Food Service Department at the Art Institute of Chicago where she was promoted to Director of Waiters, Tables, and Booking. While working there Bernice met many well- known people. Marshall Field, founder of Marshall Field's Department Stores, and another person President Barack Obama. On August 19, 1961 Bernice was united in holy matrimony to the late Thomas L Harris. They were married for 49 years. After they retired, they moved to Gary, Indiana and she became a member of First Baptist Church of Gary. Bernice was a faithful and active member at First Baptist where she willingly served in the Helps Ministry (food pantry) along with her husband Tom and fellow members. She also served as a volunteer companion at the local Hospital. Aunt Bernie leaves to fondly cherish her memory two sisters-in-law Betty Harris of Mansfield, OH and Lillie (Milton) Ward of Gary, Indiana; one brother-in-law Rev. Lawrence (Rev. Shirley) Harris of Seattle, Washington and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Visitation Wednesday April 29, 2020 from 9-11a.m. with funeral services to follow at 11:00a.m. all services at First Baptist Church 626 W, 21st Avenue. Interment Fern Oaks Cemetery.
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Published in Post-Tribune on Apr. 26, 2020.