Wayne Thomas Harris was born on April 24, 1951, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was one of seven children born of Masonetta Harris and the late Thomas C. Harris. He was educated in the Philadelphia Public School System, graduating from Overbrook High School in 1968.
Wayne’s career began at Sears and Roebuck. He was employed in the main distribution center as a foreman from 1969 until its closing in 1990. In 1991, he was employed by the Federal Reserve Bank, and in 1992 he was employed by Charles H. Bowser as building manager.
Wayne met and married his first wife, Sylvia Mills. From this union two children were born, Damon L. Harris and Cheryl L. Warfield. Later he met and married Dorothy Johnson.
Wayne was always asking many questions about the Bible and exploring what the Scriptures truly meant to him. He talked about loving the Lord. Two of his favorite verses were:
John 8:7 (NIV) When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
and 1st Corinthians 15:10 (NIV) But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them — yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
One of Wayne’s greatest loves was playing tennis. After picking up a tennis racquet, a love for the game blossomed. Wayne played tennis all over the city of Philadelphia. If there was a tennis net you could find Wayne there. Being a member of the prestigious Philadelphia Tennis Club brought him joy beyond measure. Wayne traveled with the late Elaine Busch who was one of the founding members of the Philadelphia Tennis Club. He traveled from as close as New Jersey to as far as Memphis, Tenn., competing in tennis matches. Wayne was previously an instructor for youth at The Arthur Ashe Tennis Center in Philadelphia.
Wayne was thoughtful and generous to family, friends and strangers. He often would carry a pocket full of dollar bills and pass them out to the homeless population. For the children he loved, he made one-of-a-kind gift baskets. Just to see the look on their face was thanks enough for him. Wayne was also considered by family and friends to be a music connoisseur. He collected and enjoyed a vast variety of albums maintaining an extensive collection. He was an excellent cook, and made a lasagna that was so delicious, it was often requested as a party favorite.
On Tuesday, August 14, 2012, in Largo, Florida, Wayne’s earthly life came to an end at the age of 61. Cherishing memories of his life are: his son, Damon L. Harris; daughter, Cheryl L. Warfield; grandchildren, Matthew Monroe, Saayid Harris, Zamara Warfield and Vaughn Warfield; mother, Masonetta Harris; brother, James Harris; sisters, Carmella Wilborn, Loren Bower, Sandra Harris, Paula Harris and Claudia Harris; one son-in-law; four sisters-in-law; one brother-in-law; and a host of nieces and nephews other relatives and friends.
Memorial services will be held at noon on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012 at Ezekiel Baptist Church, 5701 Grays Ave.