John Theodore Harris entered into his final rest on October 29, 2021. John was born on August 9, 1951 to Josephine Parson Faulkner and Edward “Peewee” Harris. John attended Albany Public Schools and graduated from Philip Schuyler High School. He then served in the US Air Force. John held several jobs after his military career and then attended SUNY Albany where he earned his Master’s Degree in Social Work. John found his calling when he started working in the Albany City School District as a Teaching Assistant, then as a Computer TA and as a Home School Coordinator at Giffen Elementary and Albany High School until his retirement. Prior to being assigned to Albany High School, John developed the Family Resource and Support Center at Giffen Elementary School for students, parents and community members. He took great pride in his ability to work and collaborate with community organizations, which brought much needed resources to the children and families he served. Through his success in the creation of the Resource Center, steps were taken to replicate his work throughout the Albany City School District. At Albany High School, John created a mentoring program for students that focused on academics, self-esteem, conflict resolution and taking pride in themselves and their community. John also collaborated with numerous local service providers, colleges and community organizations which allowed him to take a holistic approach to serving students and families. After retirement John volunteered and worked at the Schenectady City Mission Men’s Ministry and St. Peter’s Hospital as a Behavioral Health Counselor.
John was a member of the NAACP, Albany YMCA Black & Latino Achievers Steering Committee, Collation of Black Trade Union (Capital District Chapter), the National Association of Black Social Workers, Board Member of Father's Inc., Board Member for Schenectady Youth Boxing, Peaceful Warriors and served as President for the Albany, NY Affiliate of the National Black Child Development Institute. In addition, John volunteered at the Schenectady City Mission working with families to build bridges out of poverty. Most important, he is an Ordained Deacon at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church. John also served as Board President for Chocolate Thunder Marching and Dancing Band, Albany City School District Diversity Council and a former Member of the Albany South End Action Committee.
John enjoyed working with children, and those who have become victims of society, especially those who would be considered “vulnerable or at risk”. He adds, “I understand that it is only by the Grace of God, that I have been able to go through life’s obstacles and come out unharmed. Therefore, I have a responsibility to show others, that they too, can receive God’s Grace and know that All Things Are Possible, if you only believe”.
John holds numerous awards including the “Unsung Hero” award from the New York State Center for School Safety, the Albany Chapter of the NAACP “Visions For Life Award”, Vanessa Imelda Johnson “Community Mobilization” Award, Mt. Calvary Baptist Church “You Make A Difference” Award, Urban Voices Community Collaborations Award, The Johnson Communications Award for Community Service, The Capital District YMCA Black & Latino Community Partner award and the SUNY NAACP Trailblazers award for community service.
He enjoyed reading, sports and music. His favorite Biblical teacher is Job. His favorite song is Faith and his greatest accomplishment was getting married, having the opportunity to work with children and joining Mt. Calvary Baptist Church. His favorite quote is from Jackie Robinson “A Life Is Not Important, Except In The Impact It Has On Others”.
John was predeceased in death by his parents Edward “PeeWee” Harris and Josephine Faulkner, his brothers, Ricardo Wright and Vance (Marlow) Franklin; his sisters, Maxine Keylor, Mary Bellamy and Alisha Ellison.
John loved his family and will be forever cherished by his Loving Wife and Friend Gail for over 50 years and their son David; siblings; Edward (Anna) Harris, Claudette (Wilbur) Corley, Venita (Stephon) Frost, Eugene Kittle, Vincent Kittle, Randolph (Courtney) Harris, Anthony Harris and his Beloved Stepmother Clarice Harris and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other family members and many, many friends.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Theodore Harris, please visit our floral store.