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Official Obituary of

James O. Harris, Sr.

May 30, 1953 ~ February 26, 2024 (age 70) 70 Years Old
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James Harris, Sr. Obituary

James Otis Harris Sr., 70, departed this life on Monday February 26, 2024. Born on May 30, 1953, in Birmingham, Alabama, he was the son of the late Sam Davit Harris Jr. and the late Lelia Mae (Moore) Harris.

At the age of 3, he and his family moved to New York and few years later would relocate to Boston, Massachusetts where they would live in Roxbury and Dorchester. James attended Dorchester High School where he played on the high school football team and was given the nickname “Big O.” After graduating high school, he followed in the footsteps of his father and older brothers and enlisted in the US Army. After a short stint in the military, he attended Boston College where he pledged Iota Phi Theta and was one of the founding members of the school’s Sigma Chapter. He later went on to receive his Master’s degree in Education from Cambridge College.

For nearly 40 years, James was employed by the MBTA. He started out as a bus operator. Over the years, he worked through the ranks and eventually became a train line manager. He retired in June 2013. After retirement, he worked part-time at Beth Israel Hospital as a patient representative.

He was a very active and dedicated member of Prince Hall Mason’s Grand Lodge in Boston. He was a Past Worshipful Master at Widow Son Lodge No. 28; Past Grand Associate Patron of the Grand Chapter Order of the Eastern Stars, Past Worthy Patron of the Mount Moriah Chapter 7; Past Potentate of A.E.A.O.N.M.S. Syria Temple No. 31; and previous member of several other houses within the Prince Hall family. Through his work with the fraternal orders, he was an active participant in community events and fundraisers. He mentored students at the MLK Middle School in Roxbury for several years, concentrating on educating young men. He participated in Christmas gift drives, Thanksgiving turkey giveaways and Mother’s Day celebrations. Additionally, James was a longtime member of the Woodbine Associates.

James enjoyed fishing, grilling, watching movies and was an avid reader. Even more so, he loved spending time with his family and would organize family gatherings, including Kwanzaa celebrations. He was passionate about educating his relatives on familial history and Black Heritage.

He is predeceased by his parents, father Sam Davit Harris Jr., his mother Lelia Mae (Moore) Harris; his son Mariotis Harris; his sisters Katherine Skrine and Lillie Slater, and brother Anderson Harris.

He is survived by his wife Cheryl Harrison; 2 brothers Sammy Harris (Sharon) and John Lawton; his children, 3 sons Randall Harris, James Harris, Jr. and Cornelius Harris (Theresa); 2 daughters Sophia Harris and Aisha Harris; 14 grandchildren and great grandchildren; and a host of other relatives; and many, many friends to cherish his memories.

 

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Services

Visitation
Thursday
March 7, 2024

9:30 AM to 10:30 AM
Prince Hall Masonic Temple
18-24 Washington St.
Boston, MA 02121

Masonic Service
Thursday
March 7, 2024

10:30 AM
Prince Hall Masonic Temple
18-24 Washington St.
Boston, MA 02121

Video is available for this event


Funeral Service
Thursday
March 7, 2024

11:30 AM
Prince Hall Masonic Temple
18-24 Washington St.
Boston, MA 02121

Video is available for this event


Interment following funeral service

Forest Hills Cemetery
95 Forest Hills Avenue
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

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