Family remembers late father, husband who was a Lawton funeral home owner

Published: Dec. 9, 2021 at 6:53 PM CST
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - Friends and family members are mourning the loss of Joe Harris, he was one of a few black men to own and direct a funeral home in Lawton.

Joe Harris was in the funeral industry for more than 60-years, but has served the Lawton community and surrounding areas at Howard-Harris Funeral Services and other places for the past 35-years.

On top of serving thousands of families in southwest Oklahoma. Jolanda Harris, Harris’ daughter said his accomplishments spread way outside of the area.

“We have been seen on national platforms, BET, TV1, MTV, TMZ, Jet magazine, Source magazine, Ebony magazine. Mr. Harris has been there and his accomplishments as a Master Funeral Director, serving celebrity families and so many other things,” Jolanda said.

He worked to make sure that every family felt special and important when they were dealing with a loss.

“He never stopped, 65 plus years that he would wake up every morning and say we got to get it. Every morning he never complained, never ached in pain. He’d take a Tylenol and out the door, we go. Awesome, he never used any excuses to not serve,” his wife Audrey Howard-Harris said.

Since Mr. Harris passed a few weeks ago, there’s not a day that goes by that his wife and daughter don’t miss him.

“There’s not a moment I look at my son and I see my dad. He acts just like my father. We come here and try to serve families, and we try to understand how Mr. Harris would handle this or how he would handle that. Every minute, every second we’ll forever love, and miss him,” Jolanda said.

Although Mr. Harris is no longer with us, his business will continue to serve the area like it always has.

“We are still here. We are continuing to build on his legacy, and even better. Joe would have said Jolanda, Audrey do better, do better than what I did take Lawton further than where I took them, and we plan to do that,” Audrey said.

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