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Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes

205 East Middle Street, Williamston, MI

OBITUARY

Gail A. Harris, EdD

January 10, 1935March 15, 2020
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Gail Alice Harris, EdD, 85, passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 15, 2020. Born January 10, 1935 in Flint, Michigan to Orville and Alice (Ferguson) Harris, Gail spent her lifetime devoted to the care and education of those with special needs. Beginning with her first job at Lapeer State Home, Gail worked as a special education teacher at William Donnelly Elementary School in East Lansing and later taught courses at Michigan State University and Wayne State University. She then moved into a role as the director of special education at the Hazel Park school system before becoming the director of special education for the State of Michigan. Later, she partnered with Community Mental Health in Lansing before opening her own non-profit organization, the Harris Development Center. There, she provided group homes for disabled adults in four locations.

She loved teaching Sunday School at West Locke Wesleyan Church, playing the piano and sometimes singing along to her favorite hymns, classical pieces, and contemporary hits. She inherited a love for all things global from her mother, and welcomed international students into her home for meals and church outings.

Gail was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, George Harris and her sister-in-law, Shirlene Harris.

Her wonderful warmth and sense of humor will be missed dearly by her sister, Kathleen Harris; her nieces and nephews, Bruce (Barbara) Harris, Dawn (Jesse) Contreras, and David (Lisa) Harris and her many cousins and extended family members.

Funeral Services will take place on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at 11am at the Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, Williamston Chapel, 205 E. Middle St. in Williamston. The family will gather one hour prior to the services for visitation. Interment will take place in Fairview Cemetery in Dansville, Michigan.

Memorial contributions may be made in Gail’s honor to her church.

  • DONATIONS

  • West Locke Wesleyan aka Family Life Wesleyan Church

Services

  • Visitation Wednesday, March 18, 2020
  • Funeral Service Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Memories

Gail A. Harris, EdD

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Claudia Peterson

March 19, 2020

Gail's life was an inspiration. She was selfless in caring for the residents of Harris Home. Our sympathies to Kathy and the family.

Karen Horstman

March 17, 2020

Gail provided one of the best work experiences I have ever had. She truly cared about the people she served and helped make their lives better in every way. She encouraged me in my music and I loved accompanying her on the piano when she sang solos in church. My heart goes out to Kathy and the rest of the family.

Sandra Gleason

March 17, 2020

I am so sorry to hear of Gail passing. My brother Steven Somers lived in her home on Haslett Rd for many years. He received wonderful care there and my family can never thank Gail enough for all that she did for my brother and all of the residents. She will be sorely missed! Rest in Peace dear lady!

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Biography

Gail Alice Harris, EdD, 85, passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 15, 2020. Born January 10, 1935 in Flint, Michigan to Orville and Alice (Ferguson) Harris, Gail spent her lifetime devoted to the care and education of those with special needs. Beginning with her first job at Lapeer State Home, Gail worked as a special education teacher at William Donnelly Elementary School in East Lansing and later taught courses at Michigan State University and Wayne State University. She then moved into a role as the director of special education at the Hazel Park school system before becoming the director of special education for the State of Michigan. Later, she partnered with Community Mental Health in Lansing before opening her own non-profit organization, the Harris Development Center. There, she provided group homes for disabled adults in four locations.

She loved teaching Sunday School at West Locke Wesleyan Church, playing the piano and sometimes singing along to her favorite hymns, classical pieces, and contemporary hits. She inherited a love for all things global from her mother, and welcomed international students into her home for meals and church outings.