Marlene Harris was born December 21, 1933, in McMinnville, TN to her loving parents Richard and J. Howard Hunter Harris. She peacefully entered her eternal life on December 1, 2023, surrounded by her family.
Marlene’s family moved to Nashville, TN. In 1937, due to her mother’s untimely passing, Marlene was raised by her paternal grandmother, Mother Martha Clark, whom she loved and cherished.
Marlene attended Nashville Public Schools and was a graduate of Pearl High School in 1952. She continued her education at Tennessee A&I State College until her father became ill and she had to begin work.
Marlene moved to Evanston, IL, where she worked in a fruitcake factory and worked as a caretaker for a lady with blindness for three years in Glenview, IL. Later Marlene returned to her family in Nashville.
Marlene lived with purpose. She worked at Vanderbilt University Medical School’s library in 1962 until 1968, when she completed IBM training, English, shorthand, and typing and started her career with United Methodist Publishing House. Marlene spent the next thirty-two years working her way up in various positions at UMPH until her retirement as a Computer Specialist in 1996.
Marlene had immeasurable love for her family. In 1955 her son, Marlon, was born and in 1958 her daughter Darcel was born. She cherished them both until her death. In 2005, Marlene married Frank Sanders who precedes her in death.
Marlene loved God completely. She was carried to Ephesian Primitive Baptist Church by her grandmother, Mother Martha Clark, at an early age where she began to learn about the Lord. Her service at Ephesian began as secretary of the Sunday School in the late 1940’s. She sang with, and was the leader of, the Bright and Morning Stars under the direction of Bro. & Sis. William and Vivian Bailey. In 1950 she joined Ephesian P.B. Church under Elder R. A. Wright, and her service extends over 75 years. Marlene served on the Senior Usher Board from 1963 until 2004. During this time, she served as secretary under five presidents until 1987. Pastor J.L. Fitzgerald asked Marlene to join the Mother’s Board, and on December 20, 2004, she was installed as Mother Marlene Harris. She was the board secretary from 2012 until 2019, when her health began to fail. Until her death, Marlene was the longest serving member of Ephesian Primitive Baptist Church in 2023. Marlene was a compassionate woman who loved helping those who were sick, charitable organizations, and her beloved family. She was proud to have donated clothes to Monrovia, Liberia to help the citizens during the civil war in 1996. Marlene loved baking pies and cakes, reading the bible, knitting, eating Ice Cream, and she loved dogs. Marlene had an embrace that could warm the soul and kind words that could ease the worst pain.
She leaves to celebrate her life, her loving and devoted children, son, Marlon Harris and daughter, Darcel Harris, and a host of relatives and friends. Golden friends Beulah Blanton, Georgia Wallace, Sarah Mitchell.