Floral 11

       


Ora L. Harris

February 1, 1926 ~ August 29, 2018 (age 92)

Our Beloved, Ora Lee Harris, was born to the late Lee and Martha House on February 1, 1926 in Columbia, South Carolina. Ora peacefully transitioned from labor to reward at her home in Neptune, NJ on August 29, 2018.

Ora received her formal education in the Neptune Township School District and attended St. Stephen AME Zion Church throughout her childhood. While attending St. Stephen AME Zion Church, Ora discovered her love for singing. Although she participated in several auxiliaries within the church, she was ecstatic about being a choir member. 

Upon graduating high school, Ora relocated to New York City to follow her dreams of becoming an entertainer. Ora’s cousin, the late, great, saxophonist Lucky Thomas, introduced Ora to Jazz. Ora preformed alongside Lucky Thomas for years, as they traveled throughout New York City, opening shows for various celebrities.

During her New Year City days, the young Ora House met a charming young man, Mr. Johnny Harris. Ora was swooned by Johnny’s good looks and charm; he lavished Ora with romance, sweeping her off her feet and changing her last name. The two had a blissful, yet short romance due to Johnny’s untimely death; leaving Ora a young widow in her mid-20’s.

Ora later returned to Monmouth County, but New York City was still in her heart. She found herself visiting New York City on weekends; where she’d dash to the bus station on Friday afternoons and return for work on Monday mornings. 

Ora loved sharing stories with her family about her New York City days. While, many years had passed, Ora would smile as she recounted performances, sang songs, and pulled out her old pictures. Ora was also known to play keyboard selections, sing her favorite song “God Bless the Child”, and dance; she was a natural entertainer. 

During her career, Ora held various Supervisory positions; where she helped many obtain employment. She was known to be a fair supervisor, with great work ethic, and was awarded for her leadership skills. She later retired from Universal Filters in Farmingdale, NJ. After which, she enjoyed travel, attending concerts, Broadway shows, and she loved going to the movies. 

Later in life, love struck again, and Ora meet her sweetheart, Regis Rolland Webb. Ora and Regis remained companions until his death in 1995.

Ora’s love for her family has been evident throughout her entire life; but her greatest display of love, was seen in her relationship with her “son” Lenny.  After the tragic death of her sister, Thomasina House-Barton, Ora was charged with a new title, “Mom”. Ora loved Lenny; she vowed to Thomasina to protect and care for him, and she did an outstanding job.

Ora and Lenny had a strong bond and their lives were a gift to each other. Years passed, and Lenny married Phyllis; from this union produced Shakkie and Lil Lenny (Lenard III), and Ora gained her title, “Grandma Ora”. Shakkie and Lil Lenny (Lenard III) loved their Grandma Ora and Ora proudly enjoyed her role as their grandmother. 

Although, Ora did not raise Claude (Poochie), Ronald (Ronnie), and William (Lil Billy), she loved them as her own. She was a loving aunt to her niece Debra, and her great nieces and nephews, Ronald Jr., Vernon, Charisse, Claude IV (Man-Man), Sirron, Tiffany, and Janae. The cousins knew they were all loved, but it was no secret; Sirron Collins was the favorite. Aunt Ora was deeply loved by her great nieces and nephews, their children, and their friends. 

Ora’s love was contagious, and she attracted people from all walks of life; some adopted her as their godmother, Stephanie Miller and Henry Dunbar, IV. While others also adopted her as their Aunt Ora, Kyle, Darren, Tammy, Denise, and Jackie; just to name a few because there are many. Ora had dear friends throughout the years, some whom have transitioned, Julius Blue, Calvin Huffman, Thelma Wentworth, Florene, and Vy; and those who yet remain, Allen Powell, Sandra Collins, Esther Day, Louise Miller, and Mother Ruth Harvey. 

Ora had a zeal for life; she was an excellent cook and hostess, and her holiday dinners, cookouts, and parties were the gathering place for many people throughout the years. She was not only gifted with beauty and talent but was blessed with wisdom and wit.

Ora fearlessly declared she was a Christian, and she allowed her faith to be her guiding light in life. She regularly attended Christ Temple, C.L.G. and assisted with various programs. Ora was a member of the Buena Vista Club, and fellowshipped with the Sisters of Mt. Carmel; where she made annual charitable donations to their Homeless Missions. She touched many lives in her 92 years and her memory will be forever cherished.  

Ora Lee Harris was predeceased by her parents, Lee and Martha House; aunts, Lillie, Emma, Rose, and Thelma; husband, Johnny Harris; sister, Thomasina House – Barton; brother, Franklin House; four nephews, Claude Jones, Ronald Jones, Franklin House, Jr., and Samuel House; and her dog, “Na-Na.”

Ora leaves to cherish her memory one son, Mr. Lenard C. Clark, II (Neptune, NJ); two grandchildren, Ms. Shakkie N. Clark (Long Branch, NJ), and Mr. Lenard C. Clark, III (Farmingdale, NJ); one nephew, Mr. William Barton, Jr. (Fredrick, MD); one niece, Ms. Debra House (New York); dear great nieces and nephews, Charisse Jones (Red Bank, NJ), Tiffany Jones (Asbury Park, NJ), Janae Collins (Asbury Park), Sirron Collins (Neptune, NJ), Vernon Ruiz (Asbury Park, NJ), and their children; and a host of adopted nieces, nephews, grandchildren, cousins and friends.

 

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