Mitchell T. Harris Sr.

Published 6:02 pm Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Mr. Mitchell Thorne Harris Sr., 79, went to be with his Lord on Sunday, November 20, 2016. He was born November 19, 1937 in Pinetown, North Carolina. He was a compassionate and generous Christian man who beautifully sang God’s praises and faithfully served the Lord.

Mitchell loved sports and was a high school football and baseball star, as well as the valedictorian of the 1956 graduating class at Bath High School. He received apprentice training as an engineer at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Docks, and then went on to complete his formal training with a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg (now Virginia Technical Institute) in 1964. In 1973, Mr. Harris returned with his family to his home in Beaufort County, and began working for Texas Gulf (now PCS) at its phosphate mine in Aurora as general maintenance supervisor. He was promoted from maintenance engineer to Maintenance Superintendent — Mining, and ultimately to Mine Manager. He was an effective leader who cared for his employees and was widely respected. Mr. Harris traveled the world as part of his job, visiting locations stretching from Canada to the Middle East to Australia. He retired in 2002.

On September 20, 1959, he married the love of his life, Jane Jordan Harris, whom he met in grade school. They were childhood sweethearts who shared the love of music, with Jane playing the piano and both singing together in the Pinetown Church of Christ.

He was a member of the First Church of Christ, Washington. In over 42 years of membership, he served as a Deacon, taught the Friendship Class, and was instrumental as part of the planning group for the construction of the church’s Family Life Center. He loved to sing and was a member of the Gospel Light Quartet, traveling and performing in both North Carolina and Virginia.

He is survived by Jane Jordan Harris, his wife of 57 years; son Mitchell T. Harris Jr. and wife Theresa, of Washington, NC; daughter Teresa Harris Pell and husband Hal, of Cary, NC; daughter Malissa Jane Harris, of Morrisville, NC; granddaughter, Rachael Elizabeth Harris, of Greenville, NC; and cousins, Vicki Johnson and Marlowe Johnson, of Pinetown, NC. He was preceded in death by his mother, Gladys Harris Gurkin; and his grandparents, Joseph and Minnie Harris of Pinetown.

The family received friends Tuesday, November 22nd, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at the Family Life Center, First Church of Christ, Washington, and other times at the home. The funeral service will be held at 11:00 AM Wednesday, November 23rd, at First Church of Christ in Washington. Burial will follow in Oakdale Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to First Church of Christ, 520 East 10th Street, Washington. Online condolences may be sent to the family at The family would like to express a special thank you to the staff at the Service League of Greenville Inpatient Hospice.

Paul Funeral Home & Crematory of Washington is honored to serve the Harris family.