Willie Jean Harris was born September 16, 1943, to the late Mable Philpot Johnson and Joe Johnson in Wake County, North Carolina. On August 29, 2023 at 11:55 p.m. she peacefully departed this life in the Hock Family Pavilion and was called home into God’s everlasting place of residence.
Willie Jean spent her formative years in Granville County Schools to later obtain her Adult Education High School Diploma. One of her passions in life was Cosmetology and she attended and graduated from Troutman Beauty College. The show stopping hairstyles made her a legend in Durham and Granville County communities for decades. She also became a Dudley award-winning licensed stylist. Her passion and drive led to her becoming an entrepreneur opening Jeans Beauty Salon.
Her thirst for knowledge and career included CNA I, Life & Health Insurance, EKG Technician and Pharmacy Tech for Duke University Health System and Duke Regional Hospital.
Jean’s love of God began at an early age which never departed her. She enjoyed the fellowship of various churches sharing the good news of the gospel. Her most recent membership was with the LifeHouse Church of Raleigh, North Carolina serving on the Hospitality Team, and was affectionately called 'Ma Harris'.
Jean’s vivacious and captivating personality brought joy to many. Her love of cooking became another passion throughout the years. During her downtime, she enjoyed spending time with family and friends, playing bingo, traveling, and studying the Bible. Jean will be remembered by many of her famous quotes including, “You do what you gotta do".
Jean leaves to cherish in her wonderful memory, a loving significant other of over 30 years, Robert Harris; her sisters: Barbara Johnson Bullock (James), Lois Walker, and Marion Mangum; her brother: Charles William Johnson; her children, Leroy Lyons, Laurissa Patterson, Claretha Annette Hicks (Michael), Thomas Lyons (Barbara), and Robin Lyons. Her legacy includes 17 grandchildren, numerous great grandchildren, and a host of relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by both parents; two sisters, Patricia Conyers; Mary Alice Johnson 5 brothers - Otha Johnson, Joe Leonard Johnson, James Edward Johnson, Ervin Johnson and Garland Johnson.
And holding a special place in her heart were Michael Hicks 'Big Mike' and Eugene Gregory, whom she loved for always being there and loving her family.
My dear, dear friends! I love you so much. I do want the very best for you. You make me feel such joy, and fill me with such pride. Don’t waver. Stay on track, steady in God.
Philippians 4:1 MSG
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Psalm 23:6 NKJV
“It is going to be worth it all to see Jesus.”
Willie Jean Harris