A Life Well Lived... Winfred Earl Harris
Our Beloved Winfred Earl Harris fondly known as “Sonnie” to family and “Bread” to many of his classmates and neighborhood friends. He was the first-born son to Mr. Ernest Freddie and Mrs. Lula Mae Harden Harris in Fort Worth, Texas. “Sonnie” grew up in a close-knit family with four siblings: Earnest “Laverne,” Linda, Brenda, Wallace and Legette Moss (first cousin).
“Sonnie” was a product of the historic Northside African-American community of Fort Worth, Texas. Sonnie joined Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church as a young boy, and he loved the Lord and lived a life that reflected it. He attended Milton. L. Kirkpatrick Junior and Senior High School. “Sonnie” was a member of his high school’s basketball and track teams. He was a graduate of the Class of 1965, active in the school’s alumni association and maintained life-long friendships with many of his classmates.
At the young age of 19, “Sonnie” was drafted into the US Army and served during the Vietnam War. He honorably served his country and wore the title as “Veteran” proudly. He married Diane Lane and to this union three children were born: Samassica, Eric and Selphion. After leaving the military, “Sonnie” attended Tarrant County Junior College and Texas Wesleyan University where he majored in Sociology. He was a history buff, loved watching historical documentaries and talking about history and politics.
“Sonnie” started working for the U.S. Postal Service during college. Soon after, he married Lanita Burleson and they had one son, Sessions. He took on the role as Father to Lanita’s two children, Jermaine and Precious Burleson.
He spent the next phase of his life’s journey with his caring spouse Patricia Williams. They enjoyed traveling, social events and spending time with family and close friends. “Sonnie” enjoyed Sci-Fi, comics and was an avid movie goer with his son Sessions. A staunch Dallas Cowboy’s fan who loved to play pool and like his father, was always eager to watch a good boxing match. He retired from the U.S. Postal Service after 30 years of civil service.
“Sonnie” was intelligent, positive, humorous and family oriented. He believed in treating people with respect. He proudly took care of his elderly parents with love and honor. After the passing of his father in 1995, he stepped into the role as the Patriarch of the Harris Family. “Sonnie” always took the lead in planning family functions, holiday gatherings and believed in honoring his parents, aunts, uncles and close relatives by placing flowers at their grave sites throughout the year. He also was the Harris’ Black Santa Claus. He enjoyed purchasing gifts for everyone during Christmas and always had extra gifts for visitors.
He had a very special, yet different relationship with each of his siblings, including his niece Nikki. His brother Wallace referred to him as his “best friend.” He and Brenda often battled over rival football teams and because he and Linda were only 11 months apart, they delighted in being the same age for a week and often celebrated their birthdays together. He and Nikki regularly chatted after an Auburn or Alabama football game.
Sonnie was preceded in death by his older sister Earnest “Laverne” Edwards, son Eric Harris, daughter Precious Burleson, his loving parents and cousin Legette Moss.
Winfred leaves to cherish his memory and legacy: Special Companion Patricia Williams, Children: Samassica Harris, Selphion Harris, Sessions Harris and Jermaine Burleson. Grandchildren: Sabastian Nehemiah, Naomi Board, Jasmine Board, Zariah Harris (Siblings: Laila & Zachriah). Sisters: Linda M. Iglehart, Brenda J. Harris, Lisa Wilburn (Steve) and Brother Wallace R. Harris. Niece: Dr. Nikita Harris McNeill, Nephews: Cartez Abbs Harris, Iwin Ellis and Delrick Searl (Children: Kennedi, Ashton and Aidyn) and a host of special great nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
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