Doris Jewell Harris (born Seelye)

Personal

Gender: Female

Date of Birth: August 27, 1916

Date of Death: February 23, 2008

Death Place: Abilene, TX

Doris Jewell Seelye Harris

Doris Jewell Seelye Harris, 90, a longtime educator and resident of Abilene, Texas, peacefully entered the Kingdom of Heaven on Friday, February 23, 2007. Clyde and Grace Welch Seelye celebrated the arrival of their daughter on August 27, 1916.

A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, February 26, 2007 at The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road in Abilene, Texas. Officiating will be Dr. Gene Shelhamer, Dr. Bill Collier and James Stovall. Visitation will be from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. on Sunday at the funeral home. Interment will follow at Elmwood Memorial Park.

In September 1943, Jewell married George Silas Harris in Abilene. They shared many happy travels together to Brazil, Hawaii, Australia, Scandinavia and other European countries. Their travels also took them to Canada, Asia, and the continental United States.

This lovely, dignified, brilliant lady dedicated her life to the young people and teachers by teaching at Holliday, Texas and South Junior High (Jefferson Middle School) in Abilene, by being a consultant for Texas State Teachers Association, and by serving on local, state, and national boards that foster excellence in education. Her leadership is unexcelled: past state president of three organizations—Texas State Teachers Association, Classroom Teachers Association, and Texas Retired Teachers Association. Other service included past president of Abilene Retired Teachers Association, board member of State Board of Education and she was a sixteen year board member of Region 14 Education Service Center at the time of her death. She was indeed an inspiration to many students and teachers. She and George established at Abilene Christian University, the Jewell Seeyle Harris Scholarship for outstanding students preparing to be classroom teachers.

Many entities recognized her as the epitome of professional educators: honorary mayor of San Antonio, Grover C. Morlan Medal for Education from Abilene Christian University, Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who in Texas, Who’s Who in the South and Southwest, Outstanding Personalities of the South, Community Leaders of America, state Human Relations Award from Texas State Teachers Association, and Abilene YWCA Pathfinder Award. In 2005, Governor Rick Perry presented her with a certificate for “Educational Excellence in the Great State of Texas” for 68 continuous years of active service to education.

Jewell graduated from Abilene Christian High School, received her BA degree from Abilene Christian University and her MA from McMurry University. She was a charter member and past board president of Abilene Teachers Federal Credit Union, member of Taylor County Mental Health Board, and was a volunteer for the Democratic Party.

George and Jewell were charter members of Westgate Church of Christ. She appreciated the Sunday afternoon visits from faithful friends. Dear, sweet Jewell will be missed and remembered by many friends and relatives.

Jewell was preceded in death by her husband, George in 1996, her daughter, Georgia, at childbirth, her parents and her sister, Christine Bridges.

Survivors include: her sister, Jean Black of Lubbock; three nieces, Melissa Verett and her husband Elvin, Gaynell Hendrick and her husband Jerry, and Pat Edmondson; nephew, Bobby Black; great-nephew, Matt Verett and his wife Amanda; two great-nieces, Morgan Hendrick and Laura Jeffcoat and her husband Josh; a few other distant relatives, and longtime friends Linda Blaydes, Louise Self, Truman Finch, and Glen Smyth.

Pallbearers will be Ronnie Kincaid, Ken Thompson, Dr. Herman Schaffer, Jerry Adams, Dub Preston, and Russell Smith. James Rominger, Roger Huber, Patsy Hamric and Francine Noah-Allen will serve as honorary pallbearers.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Jewell Seelye Harris Scholarship at Abilene Christian University, 1600 Campus Court, ACU Station, Abilene, Texas 79699 or to the Westgate Church of Christ, 402 South Pioneer Drive, Abilene, Texas 79605.

Published in the Abilene Reporter-News