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Alfred Harris Jr.: Sept. 16, 2019

AMERICUS — Deacon Alfred Harris Jr. was born on Sept. 23, 1934, in Sumter County, Georgia, to the parentage of the late Mr. Alfred “Perry” Harris Sr. and Mrs. Ruby Lee Wooden Harris. He was the second of their 14 children.

Being reared and nurtured in a Christian home, he adopted Christ as his Lord and Savior, at an early age. He joined Welcome Baptist Church in his youth and was a lifelong member. He served as the deacon board chairman for over 60 years.

He was educated in the local school system.

In August 1951, Alfred married Elizabeth Whitehead. Their union produced six wonderful children: Ponce de Leon (Ludell) Harris of Decatur, Georgia, Alfred (Gloria) Harris III, Veronica (Herman) Lamar, Vickie Lynn (Billy) Austin, and Ray (Angela) Harris. all of Americus. Their youngest, Wiffi Harris, resides in Brookhaven, Georgia. On Aug.  22, 2019, Alfred and Elizabeth celebrated 68 years of marriage.

Early in his adult life Alfred demonstrated an unparalleled work ethic and sense of integrity. His first job was with Jones Motor Co., and it was there that he developed his love of mechanics and auto body work. After leaving Jones Motor Co., he spent 20 years working for Davis Casket Co. as the paint department supervisor. After the casket company closed, he began working for Citizens Bank of Americus. Alfred started building his legacy as the bank’s unofficial goodwill ambassador in January 1977, and remained there until his health began to decline in March 2015. For 38 years, he proved himself to be an invaluable asset to the bank, its employees, and its customers.

Alfred’s unmatched integrity, good-natured personality, and giving spirit led to countless accolades and acknowledgments.

In August 2001, the Honorable Mayor William “Bill” Campbell of Atlanta, proclaimed Aug. 26 as “Alfred & Elizabeth Harris Day” in the city of Atlanta, Georgia. Mayor Campbell bestowed the honor on the couple as they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

On Jan. 10, 2011, Alfred was appointed as an Honorary Lieutenant Colonel, Aide De Camp of the Governor’s Staff, by Governor Nathan Deal, Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy and the Militia of the State of Georgia.

Although there were many other honors, the one he was proudest of was given on March 12, 2015, when the Board of Directors of Citizens Bank of Americus, designated Alfred “Foots” Harris Jr. Appreciation Day at Citizens Bank of Americus, in recognition and commendation for the outstanding professional manner in which he performed his duties, his trustworthiness, and commitment to the bank for 38 years.

“Foots” loved his community, and often attended community events, gospel singing programs, and local church services. He not only loved attending singing programs, he started singing as a gospel quartet member at the age of 13. He performed with the Harmony Stars, and later became a member of the Jenkins Jubilees. Alfred performed with the group for the last time in July 2019.

“Foots” most favorite pastime was hosting weekly Friday evening fish fries for his family, friends, and neighbors.

After weeks of fellowshipping and being showered with love and affection by family, friends, and church members, Alfred took his last breath on Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, and went home to be with the Lord.

In addition to his wife and children, he leaves to mourn his passing four brothers: William (Mattie Sue) Harris, John (Annie) Harris, the Rev. Norris (Pamela) Harris, and the Rev. Gerald (Martha) Harris, all of Americus, Georgia; a brother-in-law, John L. Hall, Americus, Georgia; five sisters: Fannie Harris Butler, Kathleen Harris Monts, Janice Harris, and the Rev. Sherryl Harris Sneed, all of Americus; Ruby (Clyde) Maddox resides in Riverside, California.

Alfred “Foots” was preceded in death by three brothers and a sister: Oliver Harris, McKinley Harris, Fred Harris, and Nancy Harris Hall.

Also mourning are his 12 grandchildren, several great-grandchildren, and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives, and countless long-term friends.

The funeral service is at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 21 at Union Tabernacle Baptist Church in Americus. Burial will follow at Staley Memorial Gardens in Americus. The public visitation is from 11:45 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday at J. W. Williams Funeral Directors of Cordele.

J.W. Williams Funeral Directors of Cordele and Vienna are in charge of arrangements.