Judith Ann Harris, affectionately known as “Judy Ann,” was born on February 24, 1948 in South Bend, Indiana, to the late Luther E. Harris Sr. and Gloria L. (Davis) Harris. She peacefully went home to be with the Lord in the presence of loved ones in Tucker, Georgia, on Friday, November 22, 2019.
Judy graduated from Central High School in South Bend, Indiana. She continued her educational endeavors at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting. Upon graduating from Central State, she attended Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she received a master’s degree in taxation. Judy would become one of the first African American women to graduate from this predominately white institution with this degree. Judy was a past member of The Links, Incorporated; The National Council of Negro Women; Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC) Women; and an active member of the NAACP. She served on the board of directors for the National Alumni Association for Central State University. She had a passion for education as well as civil and social justice.
Upon graduating from Xavier University, Judy worked in Miami, Florida, for several years in public accounting at Coopers & Lybrand and other public accounting firms. She eventually relocated to Ohio where she worked a number of years for the Mead Corporation as an internal auditor. She traveled throughout North America auditing plants in the U.S., Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean. Judy eventually left her career at Mead to become an accounting instructor at her alma mater, Central State University. She taught accounting for a number of years. During the summer semesters, she would teach business and accounting courses at the military base in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Judy eventually relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, to be close to her daughter. In Atlanta, she pursued her passion to work in civil and social services. She worked with the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity as a manager in the Fair Housing Division. In this capacity, she worked closely with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to ensure fair housing laws were implemented in Georgia. Judy served in this capacity until her retirement. She simultaneously, established and managed a tax and accounting business serving individuals and corporations for more than thirty years.
Judy loved her family and could be counted on in times of need. She was the “go to” family member to provide wisdom and guidance whenever needed. She was an education advocate who instilled the importance of education in her family. She ensured her younger siblings and family members had access to information that afforded them scholarships and grants to go to college. She was a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) proponent and encouraged her family to attend and support them. She loved her alma mater, Central State University, and ensured her daughter went there to continue the legacy.
In addition to her parents, Judy was preceded in death by one sister, Gloria J. Harris.
Judy Ann leaves to cherish her memory one loving daughter, Kelli Harris Robinson (Lehmon) of Tucker, Georgia; one granddaughter who was her pride and joy, Kamryn Harris of San Jose, California; four sisters, Carolyn White of Chicago, Illinois; Juanita Massie (Roger) of Springfield, Ohio; Karen Harris-Lax (Anthony) of South Bend, Indiana; Denise Harris-McMillan of Cincinnati, Ohio; two brothers, Luther Harris of Pensacola, Florida and Michael Harris (Cheryl) of South Bend, Indiana; seven aunts, Faygene Cannady, Lillian Stokes, Juanita Harris, Carol Powell and Sandra Davis, all of South Bend, Indiana; Dorothy Harris and Alma Jeanne Harris, both of Buchanan, Michigan; six uncles, Leon Davis, Jewell Davis and Chester Harris (Delores), all of South Bend, Indiana; Eugene Davis (Eleanor) of Nashville, Tennessee; Curtis Harris (Shirley) and Leonard Harris (Nancy), both of Battle Creek, Michigan; three special nieces, Carmen Benton of Riverdale, Georgia; Shebra Evans (Lawrence) of Silver Springs, Maryland; Trion Thomas of South Bend, Indiana; close lifelong friends, Michele Harmon of Hampton, Georgia and Sandra Hunter of Atlanta, Georgia; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Funeral services for Judy will be held at 11:00am on Saturday, November 30, 2019 at Grace A.M.E. Zion Church, 1211 Vassar Avenue, South Bend, IN. Graveside services and burial will follow at Highland Cemetery in South Bend. Friends may visit with the family from 6:00-8:00pm on Friday, November 29th at Palmer Funeral Home—West Chapel, 2702 Lincolnway West, South Bend. Additional visitation will be held from 10:00-11:00am on Saturday at the church prior to the service.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.palmerfuneralhomes.com.
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