"He's gonna be irreplaceable:" Hundreds mourn the loss of beloved educator, Mark Harris

SHOREWOOD (WITI) -- Hundreds turned out on Thursday, October 30th, to remember a beloved educator. Mark Harris died suddenly last week from bronchial asthma. He was a principal in the Shorewood School District. Organizers say in the midst of their grieving, Thursday was about celebrating Harris' impact.

"He's gonna be irreplaceable," said Steve Harris, Mark Harris' brother.

On a chilly evening, a line forms outside the Shorewood High School Theater. Some wait, for nearly an hour.

"Just to see the indelible impressions he left on so many people is just remarkable," said Steve.

In the line, are students, former students, parents and staff who knew Mark Harris. Harris was an assisted principal at the high school in 2009, and will also be remembered at Marquette University as a walk on basketball player from 1993 to 1996.

"He was the type of person when it came to students, for example, he could just look at a student and tell if they were have a rough day and he would just pull them into his office and by the time they left, their spirits were raised," said Steve.

Hundreds file into the theater for the private memorial. Inside, they find four tribute walls covered with handwritten notes.

"Gave the students and community and staff the ability to write their own private messages," said Patrick Miller, with Shorewood School District.

One reads, "thank you Mr. Harris. You've done so much for all of us. And everyone will miss you."

"I think our students are doing very well and I have to say I give a lot of credit to our staff," said Miller.

The memorial ends with hundreds of candles on the school lawn. District officials says staff is doing as well as can be expected, given the sudden loss of their leader.

"It's been a very difficult, but it's also been a week where it really show you're the true spirit of the Shorewood School District," said Miller.

Harris leaves behind a wife and three children.

If you would like to support and donate to Harris' family, you can donate through Paypal with a credit card and/or Paypal account by CLICKING HERE.

Checks and funds can be mailed to:
Mark Harris Family Fund
111 E. Wisconsin Ave., 2nd Floor
Milwaukee, WI 53202

You can also visit Mark Harris' memorial website.