Iola Harris was born August 28, 1927, in Macon, Mississippi. She was the second of three children born to Roosevelt Fenner and Laura Moore Fenner.
Iola attended Zion Hill Elementary School and Macon High School in Macon. She moved to St Louis in her teen years. In 1944, she was united in holy matrimony to the love of her life, Al C. Harris. To their union, she birthed seven sons and two daughters.
Iola received Jesus Christ as her personal savior and was baptized as a child. For more than seven decades, she was a member of the Galilee Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of the late Reverend Dr. I.C. Peay. She and her husband served as ushers at the church for many years. The Reverend Carlton Caldwell succeeded the Reverend Dr. I.C. Peay.
Iola was a domestic worker and cook for many years while raising her continually growing family. She worked at the old Parkmoor and Lombardo restaurants in St Louis. She also did childcare for a private family before retiring.
Iola’s love in caring for her children was extended to raising some of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She never saw a baby who she didn’t want to hold and pamper.
Many of the neighborhood kids would gather at her home during the warm months to hang out on her big wrap around country porch. Th e kids, who later became adults, uno ffi cially adopted her, referring to her aff ectionately as “Mama Harris.”
Iola transitioned to glory at 11:45 a.m., Monday, September 14, 2020. She was preceded in death in 2000 by her husband, Al; and by four sons, Levester, Alvin, Tyrone, and Sherrick.
She leaves to cherish her memory: two daughters, Saundra McCaster and Geraldine Harris; three sons, Dwayne (Pamela) Harris, Michael (Valerie) Harris, and Reginald (Dorrie) Harris; four sisters, Annie Earl Moore, Viola Green, Essie Boclair, and Marjorie Wills; a brother, James Edward Fenner; 16 grandchildren; 32 great-grandchildren; a great-great-granddaughter; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives, and friends.
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