October 3, 1927 ~ October 20, 2020

Born in: Chicago, IL
Resided in: Decatur, GA

Evelyn L. Harris, 93, passed away on the morning of Tuesday, October 20, 2020. She was born in Chicago, Illinois, the only child of Algie E. and Ollie Kate Shipp, native Georgians. She grew up in Hapeville, Jonesboro and College Park, GA, graduating from College Park High.

At the age of 14, Evelyn lost her father, an ornamental iron worker/builder who worked on the construction of the historic Fox Theater and Hurt Building in Atlanta. After his death, she and her mother, a sewing machine operator, rented rooms in their College Park home to make ends meet. At a mutual friend’s record/dance party on the afternoon of December 7, 1941, Evelyn met Joe Harris and their love story began. The very young couple married Thanksgiving weekend 1943 while Cadet Joe Harris took a day of leave from Army pilot training. Joe was a bomber pilot in the US Air Force and Evelyn thoroughly enjoyed being the wife of a serviceman, living on military bases and raising three children. In 1964, Joe retired from the USAF and they left Altus, OK AFB and returned to Atlanta to live near family. Joe and Evelyn were married for over 76 years until Joe’s passing in April 2020. Not really knowing how to live without him, she passed 6 months later.

Evelyn was a quintessential Southern woman and was adored and admired by everyone who met her. She enjoyed raising her children and being actively involved in their activities, traveling, shopping and taking care of her home and family. She was always smiling and enjoyed laughing. She and Joe lived their last few years together at The Benton House of Decatur and were inseparable. On any given morning you could find the devoted couple having breakfast together at the Waffle House, their favorite activity.

A special and heartfelt thank you is extended to the entire Benton House staff who lovingly cared for Joe and Evelyn, especially during the Coronavirus pandemic quarantine.

Evelyn is survived by her daughters Deborah Aanes (Steve) and Tonya Andrews (Bill); daughter-in-law, Pamela Harris; grandchildren Shannon Paige Harris, Kimberlee Donavant, Todd Harris (Amanda), Wendy Kelley (Chris), Sabrina Conley, and Harris Andrews; great-grandchildren Cole, Paige, Abigail, Sarah, Evangeline, and Samantha; and sister-in-law, Dorothy Marler. She was preceded in death by her parents, her loving and devoted husband, Lt. Col. Joseph K. Harris (USAF-Retired), and her son, Major Steve Harris (USAF-Retired).
Evelyn and Joe will be interred together at the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton, GA. A full military honors service will be held in the spring 2021.

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  1. CandleImageMy deepest condolences for the loss of your beautiful Evelyn—may it bring you peace to know that she and Joe are together again for eternity—sending prayers to her family and all who knew and loved her!

  2. CandleImageTonya – I am so sorry to hear of your mom and dad. I was just thinking of you this week as I was at mom’s house getting the mail. I don’t know why but maybe your mom was speaking to me. I have fond memories of your mom and dad. I am so sorry your losses have been so great this year. Love and hugs to you. Lori

  3. CandleImageHi Tonya – Your parents were the sweetest two people! They always had smiles on their faces and I always felt very welcome at your home. Your mother was so beautiful! I was sad to hear about your fathers loss earlier this year and I am sad you have to experience your mom’s passing so soon afterwards. I think that is how they want though, to be together and that is how I remember them. Much love and peace to you and your family. Susan Berry Nesmith

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