Corene R. Harris
Published 11:23 am Monday, December 20, 2021
PENDLETON – On Saturday evening, December 18, Corene Rose Harris quietly passed away in her sleep after 90+ years of determined effort to help make the world a better place.
The list of things that she accomplished – many after raising five children on the farm that she and her husband and love of her life, Billy, ran – is remarkable.
In 1985, she traveled to Togo, West Africa where she spent two months in a remote area as a volunteer cook for a famine relief project collaboration between the Southern Baptist Convention and the World Hunger Organization. One of many experiences there included stepping over a deadly Green Mamba to get to the generator she had to start every morning to prepare food for the volunteer engineers and other workers on the project.
Corene subsequently returned to Togo to continue with the project, then spent time volunteering on missions in various capacities from cooking to teaching to working with the children of full-time missionaries in Botswana, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Brazil, and South Africa, among others.
In 1992 she worked with the newly formed SBU Disaster Relief teams cooking for thousands of people a day when Hurricane Andrew destroyed Homestead Florida. That was the beginning of many years leading cooking teams in the aftermath of natural disasters around the U.S.
Throughout these ventures, she also served for years on the NC State Baptist Women’s Missionary Union Board, taught crafts at Camp Mundo Vista, helped with prison ministries, raised funds selling her homemade country ham and cheese biscuits to finance a group trip to Alaska to assist with needs there, and worked in Bible Schools from Fayetteville to the Midwest.
Always, she led by example and the sharing of unconditional love. When she reached an age that the travel for missions was becoming more difficult, she organized and ran a very successful annual missions fair raising money at Galatia Baptist Church – her home church – so that others could carry on the work.
And in spite of the thousands of lives she touched with her kindness and compassion, she always described herself as “just a housewife” and believed that she “never did anything unusual. I just did what God led me to do.”
Corene Rose Harris often said that her greatest accomplishments were trying to be a good wife to Billy and a good mother to her five children, and she so delighted in one of her favorite things – the opportunity to celebrate her love of babies – as her family grew to include 18 great-grandchildren.
Corene is survived by one brother, Joseph H Rose; five children, Terry Harris, Betty Harris, Ben Harris and wife Terri, Thad Harris and wife Melissa, Rose Harris Pait and husband, Rich; grandchildren, Arlie Harris and husband Angus Hucknall, Evan Harris, Frank Harris and wife Melinda, Josh Harris and wife Holley, Katie Harris Morgan, Clay Horton and wife Candi, Kyle Horton and wife Megan, Ashlee Pait Lee and husband Chad, Matt Pait and wife Amy; great grandchildren, Draegan Hucknall, Everly Hucknall, Colten Horton, Chloe Horton, Avery McCullough, Lillian Horton, Baby Olivia Horton – due any day, Ava Harris, Madison Collier, Hailey Morgan, Bryson Harris, Brinley Harris, Courtney Pleasant and husband Cody, Michael Mehaffey, Gunner Lee, Hank Lee, Knox Lee, and Cameron Pait.
The family especially would like to thank Vanessa Council for the many hours helping with her care and comfort over the last months, as well as Jackie Long over the last weeks.
Arrangements are through Askew Funeral and Cremation Services, (252) 534-2661.
A Celebration of Life Visitation will be held between 6-8 p.m. Monday, December 20, 2021 at Galatia Baptist Church Fellowship Hall.
The Graveside service will take place at 11 a.m. Tuesday, December 21, 2021 at Conway Cemetery.
Should anyone choose to make a donation in her honor, she had designated NC Baptists on Mission, 205 Convention Drive, Cary, NC 27512, Disaster Relief.