DePhilip Harris, 70, entered into eternal life on Friday, January 27, 2023, with his family at his side. His life began on September 19, 1952, the eldest son of the late Clara J. Harris and Phill Harris.
He was a graduate of James Blair High School in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he was honored in his senior year as the first African American to receive a trophy for the “Best All Around School Athlete,” which means he lettered in basketball, baseball, football, and cross country. He also received a Bachelor of Science degree from Norfolk State University, where he was also known as “ Jazz Moe “ in the Gamma Epsilon Theta fraternity. He was also a graduate of the Marine Officer’s Candidate School.
He was a resident of Hesperia, California, where he lived with his wife, Velda Harris, for the past forty years and worked as a banker, real estate broker, and mortgage loan officer. Those who knew him knew that he cherished his children and family. He worked diligently to maintain his yard, both in Hesperia and also at the family home in Williamsburg, Virginia, as he was so very proud to brag that he was able to grow green grass in the desert and grow a phenomenal vegetable garden. Above all, he loved to fish and, according to him, always caught the “Big One.”
DePhilip is survived by his wife, Velda Harris; son, DePhilip Harris Jr; daughter, Aubrey Harris; five grandchildren, Chloe, Cade, Kingston, Kinsley, and Londyn; sister, Debra D. Harris; brothers, Samuel D Harris and his wife Patricia Unia Harris, Gavin E Harris and his wife Debra A. Harris, and Emerson Harris; nephews, Gavin E. Harris Jr and his wife Jacinta Harris, Corey S Harris, and Cliffton Fuller and his wife Jessica Fuller; two aunts, Thelma Johnson and Marinette Fowler; and a host of cousins and friends.
A memorial ceremony is planned for March 17, 2023, at the Spirit Filled Family Church in Hesperia, California. On March 26, 2023, a graveside burial will be held in Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church Cemetery, officiated by the Rev. Ronald Ellis. His cremated remains will be buried alongside his mother and father.
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