Harris Laid to Rest

By: Tametria Conner Email
By: Tametria Conner Email

It was a time of celebration of life, a time of remembrance of his good deeds,
and a time for tears as practically all the speakers, family and friends got emotional as they spoke about how much of an asset the Reverend Roosevelt D. Harris was to the Meridian Public School District and this community. As many say he was much more than an educator, he was a servant.

"We're not celebrating a death, where celebrating a life," said Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church Pastor A.D. Lewis said.

Mount Olive Baptist Church was full of those who wanted to pay their respects. Speakers say Harris touched the lives of many, including Donald Naylor Senior who was a student of the first class Reverend Harris taught at T.J. Harris High School. Naylor graduated in 1969 and he said about 30 of his classmates came to show support for their teacher.

After more than three decades of educating youth in this area, Naylor says Harris will be known for advocating excellence.

"We just appreciate what he's done for us. And he demanded of us to always reach for excellence," Former Student Donald Naylor, Sr. said.

Harris will also be remembered for announcing his love and pride for Meridian High School's band as, "The greatest band in all the land!"

Reverend Harris made great strides...including serving as the first African American principal, he helped to shape Meridian High an award winning school of excellence, in which President Ronald Reagan recognized the school and Harris at the White House.

"He had a tremendous love for all people and he believed in the good of people and what they could accomplish," Meridian High Football Coach Larry Weems said.

A legacy that will continue on through the lives he touched.

"And we will miss him sorely," Naylor said.

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