DeWitt Alvin Harris, Jr. was born on January 5, 1944 to the union of DeWitt Harris, Sr. and Angelee Harris in Shreveport, Louisiana. Harris was the eldest of his siblings, Melvin Ray, Richard Glynn, Janice Marie (deceased), Ivory Joe, Charles Edward, Arthur Lee (deceased), and Danny Warren (deceased). He migrated to Seattle in 1960, joining his aunt and uncle in the Mount Baker neighborhood, and spearheading the way for his immediate family. They joined him in 1962 after he found their family home on Cherry Street in the Central District.
In 1963, Harris married Deloris Marie Williams (deceased), and he leaves in his legacy: five children – DeWitt Alvin III, Lisa Shauntel (deceased), Regina, Michael, Danny, and David, eleven grandchildren – Nhautrey, Javin, Akoiya, Lyric, Michael Arjahad, Monica LaShay (deceased), Kristen, Michael Armond, Miya Alece, Quardasha Marie, and MyLil Angel, and six great-grandchildren with the seventh on the way.
After coming to Seattle, Harris furthered his education at Olympic College. In his early years, he worked for the African American Real Estate Agency and Safeway (formerly on 23rd and Union). He faithfully attended Mount Zion Baptist Church and in his later years, resided at The Cannon House. Harris loved to laugh, tell stories, and was never without a piece of Juicy Fruit gum to share. In honor of his love for history, the family asks that you spend fifteen minutes a month recording family members’ oral histories. He was a beloved member of his many communities, and transitioned peacefully on June 15, 2022.
A viewing will be held at Serenity Funeral Home – 749 Central Avenue N, Kent, WA – on Monday, June 27 from 5:00 – 7:00pm. Services will be held at Mount Zion Baptist Church on Tuesday, June 28 at 11:00 a.m., and the family requests that attendees wear black, accented with any shade of blue, and for public health and safety, masks are required.