A lifelong love of God, music and art characterized the wonderful and insightful life of Marva Jean Harris, who passed away in Los Angeles on October 8, 2020. She was 78-years-old.
A memorial celebration of her life will be held on Monday, November 23, at 2 p.m., at Inglewood Cemetery Mortuary, located at 3801 West Manchester Blvd., in Inglewood. Attendees are required to wear masks to the service, which will be held outdoors in a tented area.
Marva was born on February 10, 1942, to the late Grant Ulysses and Rosie Lee Harris in Waukegan, Illinois. At the age of 10-years-old, she accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior and united with Shiloh Missionary Baptist under the leadership of Pastor J.N. Lightfoot. Marva studied classical piano and organ and graduated from the Chicago Conservatory of Music. Afterwards, she served with the music department, as a trustee and as a missionary at Shiloh M.B. Church
In addition, Marva received a Bachelor’s degree with honors in Dietary Science from New York University. She was employed and retired from Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, Illinois following a 30-year career, the last 15 spent as Director of Dietary Service.
Relocating to Los Angeles, Marva joined First African Methodist Episcopal Church where the Rev. Dr. Cecil Murray served as pastor and she worked with the Women’s Missionary Society. Also, Marva was an excellent cook as well as a phenomenal textile artist and painter. In fact, one of her acrylic paintings, entitled “Egypt,” was featured in the Los Angeles Annual Juried Exhibition. She was also a member of the California African American Genealogical Society and the Gospel Music Workshop of America.
According to her sister, the Rev. Barbara Brooks, “Marva’s love of children led her to teach in the Los Angeles Public School System for two years. Marva was simply delighted to see and talk with her nieces and nephew and grand-nieces and give of her time and treasure.
“Her generosity, classy fashion, sassy temperament and camaraderie will be remembered. While this is a time of sorrow, family and friends find peace and rejoice knowing that Marva has overcome, for the atonement of Christ has been made sure,” noted the Rev. Brooks.
Cherishing her memory are her loving sisters, Tommie Nell Taylor (Dr. Jerome) and the Rev. Dr. Barbara Brooks; her brother, John Julius Harris; nieces, Kim Robbie Taylor Adams, Lisa Michelle Taylor, Zwehla Lemae Taylor (Karen), and Stephanie Brooks Andersen; nephew, Jacques Henri Newell Taylor; grand-nephew, Samuel Andersen; three grand-nieces, Anwara Taylor Adams, Rosie Newell Taylor and Shade’ Taylor; and close friends, Hattie Bobo, Celestine Ellis, Barbara Holmes and Prestonia Dotch.