Mary Penn Harris

Mary Penn Harris, aged 96, passed away at a nursing facility in Atlanta, Georgia, on June 24, 2019. Born Mary Margaret Penn in New Orleans on April 20, 1923, Mary was the daughter of Noel Penn and Margaret Sharp Penn. She grew up in Ballinger, where one of her grandparents was among the original citizens who established the city in 1886. The family later moved to Corpus Christi. 

Mary graduated from Texas State College for Women (now Texas Women’s University) and taught sixth grade in Odom until 1953 when she married Raymond Cleveland Harris, who worked for Philips Petroleum Company. Over the course of their long life together they lived in seven states, before retiring to Loma Linda, Missouri, near Joplin. She moved to Atlanta in 2018.

Mary loved reading and gardening, and time with friends, but her chief devotion was to her family. She was also involved in women’s clubs and charity work, and was a lifelong and faithful Episcopalian. Her very eventful life included surviving the EF-5 tornado that struck Joplin in May of 2011. 

Preceding Mary in death are Raymond, her husband of 59 years, and daughter Mary Lenore. She is survived by sons Bruce and David, both of Atlanta, daughter-in-law Renee, grandson Fernando, granddaughter Stacy, and great grandchildren Winter and Rio. A service to remember Mary’s life will be held at a later date.

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