Floral 03

Phyllis A Harris

October 3, 1937 ~ December 31, 2020 (age 83)


Live Streaming will be available for the Funeral Service



Phyllis Aurlene’ Harris was born on October 3, 1937, in Long Branch, New Jersey to Lucille (Seruby) and Ollie Eppes.  She was the only child of her late mother, Lucille and a lifelong resident of New Jersey. 

Phyllis graduated from Red Bank Catholic High School in 1956 and went on to attend Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida.  She returned to New Jersey in 1960 and purchased her home in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey in 1969.  She resided there until 2012 when the home was damaged beyond repair by the hurricane known as “Superstorm Sandy”.  

Phyllis was employed by Lily Tulip Cup Company, in Holmdel, New Jersey.  During this time, she attended Monmouth College and completed her degree and certification in teaching in 1973.   

Her first teaching position was at St. Agnes Elementary School in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, as a substitute teacher.  Shortly after, she obtained a full-time teaching position with the Long Branch Board of Education where she positively impacted the lives of many of her students.  She retired in 2000, after 26 years of teaching.    

Phyllis’ love for family, teaching, church, and community service was reflected in her committed involvement in a variety of important organizations.

Phyllis loved the Lord and actively served in the church throughout most of her life.  Wherever she traveled, she always took time to serve God.  As a longstanding member of Quinn Chapel AME Church she:

  • Originated and established Quinn Chapel’s Women’s Day Luncheon and served as the first Women’s Day Chairperson.  The luncheon’s first guest speaker was Gil Nobel, a well-respected television reporter and interviewer for WABC-TV.
  • Vacation Bible school teacher
  • Director of the Christian Education Department
  • Director of the Young People’s Department (YPD)
  • Committed and faithful Church Stewardess
  • Devoted and active Lay member
  • Member of the Voices of Quinn choir
  • Dedicated Missionary
  • Quinn Chapel Scholarship Committee member
  • “Tuesday’s Bible Study Group” member

Phyllis also had a passion for community service and was actively involved in organizations that enhanced the lives of children and families for more than 40 years. 

  • She was an assistant Program Director for Monmouth County Community Action Program (MCCAP), now known as the Inter-County Community Council (ICCC).  She was instrumental in bringing “Head Start” (a comprehensive early childhood development program) to Atlantic Highlands in the 1970’s.  Today, Head Start serves more than one million children and their families annually. 

Phyllis was also a member of the following organizations:

  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
  • Monmouth County Cotillion Scholarship Committee, responsible for administering testing for the participating debutants and escorts.
  • Member and Worthy Matron of the Naomi Chapter #29 of the Daughters of Eastern Star.
  • Member and Secretary of the Phi Delta Kappa Teachers Sorority.

In 2013 Phyllis was stricken by a debilitating stroke that left her bedridden.  She moved into the home of her youngest daughter, Dawn and was lovingly cared for by Dawn, her husband Lamothe, and their children until the Lord called her home.

Phyllis was a devoted mother and is survived by her five children, Deborah Harris, Wilmington, DE; Deidre Harris, West Springfield, VA; Darlene Earl, Springfield, MO; Dawn Mathurin and husband, Lamothe Mathurin, Freehold, NJ; Dwayne Harris and wife Bridgett Harris, Lawrenceville, NJ; her grandchildren, Shakira Coleman and husband Andre’ Coleman, Jessica Harris, Jasmine Lane, Jhane’ Harris, Jamel Harris, Mikayla Harris, and twins Imani and Elijah Mathurin; her five great-grandchildren and a host of other family and friends.






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Walk Thru Viewing
January 8, 2021

9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Buckland Funeral Home
10 West End Ave.
Somerville, NJ 08876

Funeral Service
January 8, 2021

10:00 AM
Buckland Funeral Home
10 West End Ave.
Somerville, NJ 08876

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