Alma Marguerite Weldon Harris – PHS 1936
08 / 08 / 1917 – 07 / 07 / 2016
Services for Alma M. Harris will be held on Friday, at 2:00 PM, at Bailey & Foster Chapel, led by Alma’s nephew, Rev. Richard Sparks. Burial will follow at Broyles Chapel Cemetery. Visitation will be held at 1:00 P.M Friday prior to the service. Arrangements are under the direction of Bailey & Foster. Alma M. Harris passed from this life to her heavenly home on June 7, 2016, in Austin, Texas.
She was born in Anderson County, Texas on January 8, 1917, to P. Calloway Weldon and Ada Hutcherson Weldon. She loved learning, especially by working in Ft. Worth at her aunt’s high fashion boutique making buying trips to fashion markets in Dallas and New York. There she acquired skills in hat making, custom fitting and fashion design. The Weldon family’s membership in Lone Pine Baptist Church led Alma to a strong Christian faith and she became the church’s recording clerk while still in high school. After graduation from Palestine High, 1936, she married Haywood Harris Sr. and they began their family legacy of working hard, always helping family and friends when needed.
During WWII they had an outstanding dairy and then later opened Harris Food on Hwy 79. Mrs. Harris continued to live her Christian faith by teaching Sunday School at North Jackson Baptist, later joining First Baptist Church after living in Dallas for several years. She initiated and supported community activities from United Way and PTA to providing food and supplies during times of deaths, emergencies and disasters. This was facilitated by her incessant reading of newspapers and listening to the police channel on her radio scanner. Her leadership in the Japonica Garden Club took her to visiting nursing homes, planting trees on Arbor Days and winning blue ribbons in the Anderson County Fair for flower arrangements and plant specimens. She shared her love and knowledge of fishing and gardening by taking her children and grandchildren, family and their friends on marvelous adventures. Her ingenuity got her out of many incidents from offering creative solutions to a multitude of predicaments.
She always knew what needed to be done and was very creative and practical in her solutions. Her gifts included writing poetry and reciting from memory poems she learned from high school, even a week before her death. Her cooking skills were amazing. She could taste any dish and then duplicate them without a recipe. Alma was known as MaMaw to her family, and her greatest pride were her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her listening ear and wise advice was offered in a loving way. When meeting new friends of the family or new acquaintances she enjoyed them calling her MaMaw too, it was if she never met a stranger. While maintaining a home in Palestine, she moved to Austin for additional help in caring for her invalid husband, Haywood, and again after breaking her hip. Her mind remained alert to the end, enjoying watching wildlife, playing dominos and telling stories of her life experiences to her great-grandchildren. Alma was pre-deceased by her parents, husband, daughter, Linda Gradick and granddaughter, Wendi Bunton, sister, Nell Sparks, and brother Frank Weldon.
She is survived by daughters: Nancy (husband Sam) George, and Elizabeth & Noel Roebuck, of Austin and son: Haywood Jr. & Anne Harris of Palestine. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Lani & Gary Faber, Kelli, Garrett and Taylor; Greg & Carrie George, Kendall and Sami; Link & Holly Harris, Swayze; Margaret & Paul Frueh, Hannah, Abigail and Micah; Elizabeth & Tim Powers, Harris, Caroline, Camille and Hunter and; Huntleigh & Kim Harris, Hunt, Charlotte, Elle and Audrey. Step-grandchildren; Karen Roebuck Howry, Summer and; Matthew & Dee Roebuck, Cheyenne.
Pallbearers will be: Gary Faber, Greg George, Link Harris, Paul Frueh, Tim Powers, Huntleigh Harris, Garrett Faber, and Taylor Faber. Honorary pallbearers: Tom Bills, Harris Powers and Ricky Sparks.