Vera Mae Harris passed away suddenly on April 21, 2023 and is now home in Heaven with her Lord and Savior. She was born to Charles and Evie Elizabeth Pernell on September 23, 1930 in Summit, Oklahoma. Vera Mae was the youngest of eight children. She grew up in Stringtown, OK until her family relocated to Boggy Bend. She shared many stories of her wonderful memories of her parents’ farm, their hard work, their dedication to their family, and their life of obedience to the Lord. She recounted the many times they prayed together as a family and how her parents taught them Bible verses. She often shared how her mother taught her Micah 6:8 while combing her hair as a child.
Vera Mae attended a two-room school house until the 8th grade, often laughing that her graduating class consisted of eight students whose names she still remembered. From there she attended 9th grade in Chicago, IL, 10th and 11th grade in Muskogee, OK, and graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa, OK in 1948.
Vera Mae completed courses at the Cortez Peters Business College in Chicago, where she received her secretarial training. She was employed at the Montgomery Ward Mail Order House in Chicago, as a secretary with a Chicago law firm, as a secretary for the Illinois State Employment Service and as a stenographer for the Chicago Board of Education.
She met Leo Raymond Harris, Jr. on a blind date at a Chicago White Sox baseball game at Wrigley Field in June of 1955. They were engaged on Christmas Eve of that year and were married on June 30, 1956. They lived in Chicago, IL where the first two of their four daughters Melanie Lynnette and Adrienne Michele were born. They relocated to Detroit, MI where their last two daughters Stephanie Kay and Paula Elizabeth were born.
In 1971, they relocated to the Washington, DC area after Leo Raymond accepted a transfer with his position as an accountant with the Department of Defense. In 1974, Vera Mae established a home-based day care with her daughter Melanie where they lovingly cared for and nurtured a multitude of children for 19 years. Her love and nurturing care have impacted the lives of these children and their parents and is now being passed down as a wonderful legacy to their children.
Vera Mae loved the Lord with all of her heart and had a burning desire to see others come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. She made the most of every opportunity God gave her to share her faith no matter where she was. She handed out Bible tracts and encouraged people in the supermarket, at the mall, at restaurants, while she was in the hospital and in rehab, in doctor’s offices, and while on vacation. She was passionate about reading her Bible and studying God’s Word. Vera Mae loved her church and was known for her Godly wisdom, her knowledge of scripture, her faithfulness, and her gift of encouragement.
She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Leo Raymond Harris, Jr. and her precious daughter, Melanie Lynnette. She leaves to love and cherish her Godly legacy her daughters Adrienne Michele and Stephanie Kay of Bowie, MD, and Paula Elizabeth (James) of Manassas, VA. She is adored and cherished by her grandchildren Shannen LeNay Moon of Manassas, VA, Devon Anthony Bedford of Woodbridge, VA, and her precious great grandson Jeremiah Moon of Manassas, VA. She is loved and cherished by sisters-in-law, a brother-in-law, cousins, nieces and great nieces, nephews and great nephews, and a multitude of friends, all of which she loved dearly.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the Community Outreach and Food Pantry Ministry at the Largo Community Church.