Helen Gertrude Harris died March 31 at the Riverhead Care Center. She was 89.
She was born March 19, 1923, in Cumberland County, Va., to Alfred and Mary (Hatcher) James. She married John Harris in 1941 and raised 11 children.
She was a member of Jesus Is Lord Church of Holtsville. Family members said she loved to play bingo and cards and enjoyed fishing. Most of all, they said, she loved having her home filled with friends and family, and was their backbone.
Ms. Harris was predeceased by her husband; her sons John (Robert) and Ernest; her siblings Moses, Aaron and Ralph James, Catherine Johnson and Lucy Chiles; and a grandson. She is survived by nine children: Mary Branch of Henderson, N.C.; James, Littie Ann and Dorothy, all of Riverhead; Frances Grace of Irvington, N.J.; Charles and Winfred, both of Newark, N.J.; Thomas, of Coram; and Arthur of Moriches. Also surviving are 29 grandchildren, 57 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren.
Viewing and services took place April 6 at Galilee Church of God in Christ in Riverhead, Pastor Roy Pennon Sr. officiating. Arrangements were handled by Seay Memorial Chapel in Riverhead.