HARRIS: Betty "Shirley" Prater Harris, 87, of Jonesboro, GA passed away peacefully on February 20, 2023, surrounded by her family and loved ones. Betty grew up in Dacus, TX, where she lived until marrying Kenneth Harris in McGregor, TX in 1955. Shortly afterward, they moved to Plymouth, Indiana, then later to Oxford, Indiana in 1966 where they raised their 5 children. Many of the neighborhood families will remember her infamous whistle (that could be heard for blocks) to call her kids home for dinner. She worked at Messner & Sons department store for several years until their closure.
Betty enjoyed crocheting, crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, collecting crystals/gemstones (or any other pretty rock she came across), and was an avid reader. She loved sports, as both a spectator and played on the Oxford women’s softball team for several years.
In 1989 they moved to Pine Village and joined the Pine Village Christian Church. She became an active instrumentalist in the daily administration and subsequent expansion. She served as the church treasurer for many years and even learned how to work a computer. Betty headed the church’s food committee in which she coordinated dinners for church gatherings as well as church-hosted wakes. Betty and Ken moved to their dream spot in West Lebanon, IN in 1992. She always wished to live somewhere where she could walk out her back door to go fishing. She had to settle for walking out her front door, but it was a peaceful spot where they enjoyed many years of fishing and summer fish fries. The family 4th of July celebrations became an annual event where all of the kids and many of the grandkids (and great-grandkids) gathered for some epic cookouts and fireworks.
Betty enjoyed taking walks with her dog Patches, telling a good story, laughing, playing board games, and enjoying a good meal with her family. She will be dearly missed and always remembered by those whose lives she has touched through the years. Betty was preceded in death by her sister, Melba Barrett, her brother, Gerald (Butch) Prater and her youngest daughter, Melonie Ullrich. She is survived by her husband of 67 years, Kenneth Harris Sr; her daughters, Carol Otto, Sherry Downing (Lee) and Betty Wilborn (Wesley); her son, Kenneth Harris Jr. (Jessica); sister, Jean Johnson and brother Sonny Prater. Betty also leaves behind 14 grandkids, 13 great-grandkids, and 1 great-great-grandchild. A celebration of life will be held in her honor at a later date. We request all of Betty’s loved ones to join us in celebrating her beautiful life and homecoming.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Betty’s honor to the Dementia Society of America | Information Support Research or the Alzheimer's Association | Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Help
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