Mary O. Harris went to her heavenly home on Jan. 26, 2023.
She was born March 9, 1940, in Pittsburg, Kansas, the only daughter of Theoplilis G. Clark and Mary J. (Evans) Clark.
She attended Roosevelt Jr. High School (which is now Middle School) and Pittsburg High School. While still in high school, in January 1956, she was united in marriage to her high school sweetheart, Johnnie Madison.
Mary lived in Norfolk, Virginia, in the 60s, where Johnnie was serving in the U.S. Navy. Their daughter Johnnie Kaye was born in December 1957. Mary and Johnnie were later divorced. Mary moved to San Diego, California, and then to Albuquerque, New Mexico, before returning to Pittsburg, Kansas, to raise her two children. In 1970, she met Clarence P. Harris, and they were married in September of 1971. He preceded her in death in February 1999.
Mary worked in area nursing homes until she was employed by Southeast Kansas Community Action Program (SEK-CAP) as an outreach worker for Crawford County in 1974. She retired from that position in 2000 after 26 years of dedicated service. After a few months in retirement, she went to work as a service coordinator for Key Management Co. on a three-year HUD grant that lasted fourteen years. She again retired from Key Management Co. as a service coordinator for Highland Meadows in November 2015. Mary was a 60-year member of Mt. Hebron Missionary Baptist Church of Pittsburg, serving as dinner chairperson for many of the church's dinner programs. She loved to cook and sing in the adult choir and was president of the Allie Kelly Mission Circle, where she was Chairman of the Trustee Board. She was a 30-year member of Sahara Chapter #28 Order of the Eastern Stars, where she served many years as worthy matron, and serving as Grand Esther in Prince Hall Grand Chapter. Many years ago, she served on the Human Relations Board at Pittsburg City Hall.
She leaves behind to mourn her daughter, Johnnie Kaye Azode; seven grandchildren, Tiffany Watson, Todd Marcell Watson, Taylor Madison, Tia Shorts, Myia Madison, Megan Jackson, and (Craig's daughter in Wichita); four great-grandchildren, Ciara, Isaiah, Reniah, and Jerimiah; and a host of cousins and great friends. Just to mention a few special friends, Alice McDaniels, Paulette Newton, Loyce Poncil, Deanna Blythe, Susie Taylor, Greg Greene, Steve Brigham, Mae Scott, Glenda Reeves, and Helen Whaley.
Proceeding her in death are her parents, both grandparents, husband Clarence Harris, brother Theoplilis G. Clark Jr., son Marshall Madison, and grandson Marshall Jr.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023. Burial will follow at Fort Scott National Cemetery at 12:30 p.m. Family will receive friends and loved ones for visitation prior to the funeral at 9:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Wesley House. Arrangements are made by Bath-Naylor Funeral Home and Crematory in Pittsburg, KS.
A live video stream of the funeral will be available at www.bathnaylor.com.