Eva Lee Harris, 88, joined her Heavenly Father, her husband, parents, siblings and other loved ones in her brand new eternal mansion on Oct. 28, 2013. She departed this life at the Texas County Memorial Hospital in Houston, Mo.
Eva Lee was born Jan. 28, 1925, in East St. Louis, Ill., to her parents, James Clarence Legg and Elsie Elaine Renick Legg. She was preceded in going to her heavenly home by her parents; her brother, Robert Randal Legg; her sister, Thelma Rebecca Legg Snowden; and her beloved husband of 58 years, Homer Jean Harris.
Eva Lee is survived by her children, Paul Homer Harris of Independence, Mo., Nancy Ellen James and husband, Michael Joseph, of Chapin, S.C., and Jeanne Lee Chatman and husband, Lawrence Paul, of Plato, Mo. She has seven grandchildren, Jason Paul of Wilmington, N.C., Erin Harris Brown of Independence, Mo., Joseph Peter James of Plato, Mo., Serena Chatman Hagler of Licking, Mo., Eva James Pittman of Chapin, S.C., Sarah Chatman Sutton of Raymondville, Mo., and Lawrence Jean-Paul Chatman of Perryton, Texas. She also leaves behind 16 great-grandchildren. She has been a very loving Christian Mother to all of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Eva Lee attended East St. Louis High School, but stayed home to take care of her ailing mother during the second semester of her senior year. Later she passed her GED and graduated from secretarial college. She married her high school sweetheart, Homer Harris, on July 9, 1944, in her parents’ living room. They had been in love since they were 14 years old and had gone steady through high school. Immediately after the wedding ceremony, they boarded a train bound for Great Lakes Naval Base, Ill., where he was being trained as a medic during WWII.
Eva Lee was raised in church by her parents, accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as her personal Savior at age nine and was baptized at the Lansdown Baptist Church in East St. Louis, Ill. When she grew up, she became a Sunday School teacher and a Vacation Bible School teacher in that church and raised her children in that church during their childhood years. They built a beautiful brick, ranch style home on 43rd St. in E. St. Louis.
She worked at Sears and Roebuck as a secretary, and her husband was a US postal clerk. They moved their family from E. St. Louis to Fairview Heights, Ill., in 1960 and joined the Unity Roselawn Baptist Church, where she served as a Sunday School and VBS teacher. She went to work as a secretary at Scott Air Force Base near Belleville, Ill., while her husband remained a postal supervisor at the E. St. Louis Post office. In 1968, Eva Lee and her husband purchased a farm at Evening Shade, Plato, Mo. They both became employees at Fort Leonard Wood, where she worked as a secretary and key punch operator. They built a house and established a tree farm, but later a forest fire destroyed their crop of pine trees.
Eva Lee joined the Roby Baptist Church in 1969, where she is still a member, and served as a children’s Sunday School teacher and a VBS teacher. She was famous for making Biblical costumes for Barbie, Ken and G.I. Joe dolls in order to put on Bible story plays for the children. She always had lemon drops, peppermints, red licorice, starbursts and spearmint gum in her purse for the little ones. She visited elderly people in the community and did a Sunday School lesson for them on Saturday. She retired in 1975 to care for her mother and mother-in-law, Hattie Ellen Landreth Harris, in her home until their graduation into Heaven.
Eva Lee was a faithful, loving wife and she tirelessly cared for her invalid husband, when they went to live at the Senior Housing in Raymondville, MO. She was a fine example of a Christian lady.
Eva Lee was very talented. She played the piano and sang hymns in her pretty soprano voice. She made beautiful quilts for all of her children and grandchildren. She crocheted pretty afghans for her loved ones, and made wonderful latch work pictures that she framed for them. She always had a fine vegetable garden and grew gorgeous varieties of flowers, especially roses, which she shared with family and friends. She was a wonderful cook and especially noted for her fried chicken, round steak, gravy, fruit cobblers, multi-colored with different flavored marble cake and rich chocolate cake with fluffy pink frosting. She was a preschool teacher for some of her grandchildren, as she cared for them during the day. She taught them numbers, alphabet, phonics, word recognition, name writing, drawing and coloring. She read stories to them, and played games with them. When they graduated to kindergarten, she had a party for them with cake, ice cream, a graduation hat and a certificate of achievement.
Eva Lee faithfully read her Bible every day and prayed for each member of her family and her many friends. She was a good example of what a Christian should be and witnessed to her family and friends in word and deed. She has lived with her daughter, Jeanne, and husband, Lawrence, for the past four years at Evening Shade and has faithfully attended the Gasconade Baptist Church with them where Bro. Chatman pastors. When her husband passed away in 2002, she moved back to Evening Shade into the beautiful house that her daughter, Nancy, and husband, Michael, had built for their retirement. She is looking forward to seeing all of her family and friends in the wonderful eternal home that the Great Creator God has prepared.
Services were 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, at Roby Baptist Church with Pastor Brock Davis and the Rev. Lawrence Chatman officiating. Pallbearers were Lawrence Chatman, Jr., Joseph James, Joshua Sutton, Bobby Hagler, Jason Harris and Michael Brown. Burial was in C.T. Smith Cemetery under the direction of Evans Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Gasconade Baptist Church Building Fund, 16349 Hollsman Road, Dixon, Mo., 65459. Online condolences may be made at www.evansfh.com.