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Mary Alice Norwood Harris

Greenville Herald Banner
Thursday, Dec 28, 2006

CORPUS CHRISTI — Mary Alice Norwood Harris, 82, a native of Greenville, passed on peacefully Dec. 25, 2006, at her home with her family by her side.

A funeral service is at 11 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 30, 2006, at Seaside Funeral Home Chapel, 4357 Ocean Drive, with interment to follow at Seaside Memorial Park.

Visitation is from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 29, 2006, at the funeral home.

She was born in Greenville on Dec. 14, 1924, (immediately following the birth of her twin brother, James) to Henry O. and Bess Rhea Norwood. Reared in Greenville, she was awarded the American Legion “God and Country School Award” for courage, character, service, companionship and scholarship.

After graduating from Greenville High School in 1942, she began her quest for a career in education. She entered East Texas State Teachers College in Commerce and in two short years completed a degree with honors in business administration with a minor in English in 1944. Her first teaching job was a high school position in the small west Texas town of Mertzon. She was always committed to instructional excellence, meeting the needs of each student and modeling positive behavior that fostered learning.

She married Albert G. Harris, second lieutenant, United States Marine Corps, in Oceanside, Calif., on Feb. 16, 1946. While Albert was away from home with the Marines, Mary Alice worked as secretary to the manager of Lance, Inc., the Charlotte, N.C., snack corporation with offices and distribution in Greenville.

She and her family resided in several different locations throughout the United States due to Albert’s work in the oil industry, primarily Wichita Falls, Tallahassee, Fla., Houston, Denver and Corpus Christi. Mary Alice taught school for 16 years at Cunningham and Hamlin Junior High Schools in the Corpus Christi Independent school District. “Perky” was a member of First United Methodist Church, the Jennie Hill Cooper Sunday School Class, the 21 Study Club, Le Deuxieme Garden Club, the Parkinson’s Support Group at Parkway Presbyterian and the Leo-Willie-Baums (a supper club she named and helped found).

Mary Alice was kind, witty and gentle-hearted. a devoted wife, loving mother and grandmother. In the last 12 years of her life, she encountered difficult battles with a rare form of cancer, crippling rheumatoid arthritis, debilitating Parkinson’s disease and numerous other infirmities she faced with dignity and grace.

However, she is at last free of the earthly body she couldn’t fully control — Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Sweetheart, we release you to God. So fly away, fly away quickly to the arms of Jesus in your Heavenly home. We’ll miss you a lot and always love you so much.

Preceded in death by her parents, Mary Alice is survived by Albert, her loving husband of 60 years; sister Lila (I.E.) Clark of Schulenburg, Texas; brothers James Norwood of Corpus Christi and Marcus (Carolyn) Norwood of Austin; sister-in-law Margaret Harris of Jefferson, Texas; son John Gregory (Joan) Harris of Richardson; and daughter Amy Elizabeth (Larry) Jones of Corpus Christi. Her adoring grandsons and pallbearers are Ryan (Tiffany) Harris, Chris (Lauren) Jones, Jason Jones and Roger Jones and precious great-grandsons Grant Anthony and Cole Gregory Harris. She is also survived by many wonderful nieces and nephews and her two loving caregivers, Elva Ramos and Janie Garcia.

Memorial contributions may be made to First United Methodist Church, Jennie Hill Cooper Class Scholarship Fund, 21 Study Club Scholarship Fund, Parkinson’s Support Group of Parkway Presbyterian, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, National Parkinson’s Foundation, Arthritis Foundation, Christus Hospice and Palliative Care or charity of choice.

Submitted by Elaine Nall Bay

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