Mary Margaret Harris, 80, city educator


Mary Margaret Harris, a retired educator active in the Episcopal Church, died of cancer Friday at her Coldspring home. She was 80.

A former Morgan State University English professor, she retired in 1988 as an affirmative action officer for the city school system.

Born Mary Margaret Stephens in Washington, Iowa, she was raised on a farm near Indianapolis. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Butler University, studying Latin, English and philosophy.

Mrs. Harris, who was known as Stevie, was chairwoman of the English Department of Barber-Scotia College in Concord, N.C., before moving to Baltimore in the late 1940s to teach at Morgan. She also studied at the Johns Hopkins University, Loyola College and the University of Baltimore.

She was a past president and treasurer of the Maryland Association of Affirmative Action Officers and a former vice president of the Executive and Professional Women's Council of Maryland.

She belonged to many organizations, including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, The Links, Jack and Jill and the Old Girls' Network.

Active in the Episcopal Church, she participated in a 1974 study tour of African countries sponsored by the Diocese of Maryland. A former canon for the lay ministry, she was a board member of the Episcopal Women's History Project. She was a regional delegate to the Episcopal Women's National Board from 1991 to 1994.

Her marriage to Dr. Bernard Harris Jr., a Baltimore physician, ended in divorce.

Services were held yesterday at St. John's Episcopal Church in Mount Washington, where she was a past senior warden, lector and Eucharistic minister.

Survivors include a daughter, Marilyn Harris-Davis of Baltimore, and two grandsons.

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