Recognizing and Honoring History with Pearlie Harris

Black History Month every February is a time to honor the lives and sacrifices of the men and women of African American descent who helped to shape the United States. One of those people in our Bon Secours St. Francis family is Pearlie Harris. As a member of our family, her history is our history.  We recognize and honor Pearlie Harris’ richly filled life helping others.

“I enjoy being with people, helping others, and I am motivated by positive attitudes about life” she said. Pearlie Harris will share her story during Black History Month events at ST. FRANCIS Eastside (room 301) on February 11, 2014 from 11:30am-1pm and at the Sterling Community Center on February 25, 2014 from 6:30-8:30pm…both in Greenville.

Born in Hendersonville, N.C., and raised in Saluda, N.C., Pearlie and her three brothers were raised by their parents. When her mother became seriously ill, Harris, who was then only 10 years old, assumed much of the responsibility of caring for the family and the home. She has fond memories of her childhood home. Pearlie said, “I love the mountains because I grew up in them. You can lose yourself just wandering through the forest, or just appreciating nature and watching waterfalls.” Harris graduated from Furman University with a master’s degree in education. She was married to a U.S. Marine who is now buried in Arlington National Cemetery and has two sons who both attended St. Mary’s Catholic School in Greenville.

Pearlie has a long list of accomplishments including the Pearlie Harris Center for Breast Health named in her honor. She is a also a former board chair of Bon Secours St. Francis Health System, invested as Lady of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, a member of the board of directors of the Greenville County Museum of Art, and the board of directors of St. Joseph’s Catholic High School. She is also a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, where she serves as a lector, choir member and Eucharistic minister. When asked about goals she says “Have faith, be true to yourself and plan your goals and work hard to fulfill them.” She added “My list of things to do is complete and everything is behind me. There is so much satisfaction when this happens and you don’t have to bring things over to another day.”

You can hear stories of Pearlie Harris’ struggles and successes during two Black History Month events:  ST. FRANCIS eastside in Greenville (room 301) on February 11, 2014 from 11:30am-1:00pm and Sterling Community Center in Greenville on February 25, 2014 from 6:30-8:30pm. In addition, prepare to be entertained at both events with special musical selections provided by Bon Secours St. Francis employee Mercedes Zubieta, MSW.

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