Mary Harris

March 7, 2016

Mary Arden Liles Harris March 3, 1926 - March 7, 2016 CHARLOTTE - Mary Arden Liles Harris, of Charlotte, NC, passed away on March 7, 2016. She was a resident of the Cypress of Charlotte. As her health declined, she fought the complications of several health conditions with the same kind of optimism, courage and determination that she exhibited throughout her life.

Mary Arden was a loving, devoted and giving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. It brought her great joy to have all of her family members together. Mary Arden was born in Monroe, North Carolina on March 3, 1926, to Ellis Binford Liles and Mary Hester Sullivan Liles. She graduated from Harding High School in 1944. After high school graduation, she entered Wake Forest College where she met Dave Harris. It was love at first sight! Mary Arden and Dave were married on January 13, 1945. Mary Arden attended Wake Forest from 1944-1946. She later graduated from Winthrop College with a Bachelor's Degree in English. She also received a Master's Degree in English/Library Science from Winthrop College and an EDS degree in school administration from Appalachian State University.

Mary Arden was an educator in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools for 31 years. She started her career at West Mecklenburg High School as an English/ journalism teacher. After teaching in the classroom for several years, she accepted a media specialist position at West Mecklenburg and then became an assistant to the principal for academics. She was also a media specialist at West Charlotte High School. Her work as an administrator began when she was named the Director of Library/Media Centers for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. In the later years of her career, she was the principal at Billingsville Elementary School and at Myers Park Traditional School.

Mary Arden joined the First Baptist Church of Charlotte when she was twelve years old and remained an active member as long as her health allowed. She served on numerous committees and taught Sunday School classes for children and adults. She was a long time member of the Garris Sunday School Class. Mary Arden was a Girl Scout Leader at Mulberry Presbyterian Church for a number of years. She was instrumental in the formation of the Westerwood Garden Club and served as its first president. She was an active member of the Upsilon Chapter of the Alpha Delta Kappa International Honorary Sorority for Women in Education and held sorority leadership positions for many years. She also served as a trustee at Gardner Webb University and was a member of the Gardner Webb President's Strategic Planning Committee. She was active in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Retired School Personnel and held several offices in that organization.

After their retirement, Mary Arden and Dave enjoyed traveling and spending time at the beach and at their mountain home in High Meadows. Mary Arden enjoyed keeping up with her former students and with Dave's Harding High School football players and cheerleaders. As long as she lived, she was a loyal Wake Forest and Carolina Panthers fan. Mary Arden loved spending time with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and made every effort to attend their activities and to visit them often.

On July 13, 2010, Dave Harris, Mary Arden's beloved husband of 65 years, preceded her in death. She was also predeceased by her parents, Ellis and Mary Liles and her brother, Ben Liles. Mary Arden is survived by her daughter, Arden Browder and husband Ty; her son, Andy Harris and wife Sherry; her grandchildren, Liz Carroll and husband Robby, Leigh Arden Beck and husband Joey, Charlotte Lucas and husband Brooks and Christine Harris and fiance Trey Morrison; her great-grandchildren, Burton Carroll, Harris Carroll, Drew Carroll, Ellis Beck, Liles Lucas and Townes Lucas; her step-grandchildren, Chad Browder and wife Amber, Klista Browder and Valerie Wooten; and her step-great-grandchildren, Zach Wooten, Hunter Wooten, Trey Wooten and Colton Meadows.

A service to celebrate the life of Mary Arden Harris will be held at the First Baptist Church Charlotte, 301 South Davidson Street, on Thursday, March 10, 2016, at 11:30 a.m. with Dr. Mark Harris and Reverend Michael Cummings officiating. A reception will be held in the First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall immediately following the service. The burial will be a private family service. Harris and Liles extended family members are invited to attend the burial service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church Phil Hughston Scholarship Fund, PO Box 31046, Charlotte, NC 28231 or to the Susan G. Komen Charlotte, 2316 Randolph Road, Charlotte, NC 28207. The family extends grateful appreciation for the special care provided to Mary Arden by her loving caregivers from the Cypress of Charlotte Home Care, the Stewart Health Center staff, Dr. Murray Craven and Hospice and Palliative Care of the Charlotte region.

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth Poe Funeral & Cremation Services, 1321 Berkeley Ave Charlotte NC 28204. Phone: 704 641-7606

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