Saying goodbye: Former principal Mark Harris is laid to rest

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A beloved educator is laid to rest. Hundreds of people packed the Church of Gesu this morning to pay their last respects to Mark Harris.

As the bell tolled at the Church of Gesu in Milwaukee, a feeling of grief resonated throughout.

"Everything was very sudden, unexpected," said Patrick Jackson, friend of Harris'.

Mourners gather to say their final goodbye to Mark Harris. The principal at Shorewood Intermediate School died suddenly last week from bronchial asthma.

"He was my vice principal and he helped me get into EOP here at Marquette and he was a hero," said Tori Apkarian, former student.

Described as supporting, uplifting leader with a sense of humor, folks are celebrating his life rather than focusing on his death.

"He really did inspire people and it really showed," said Jackson.

Before Harris was the principal at Shorewood Intermediate School, he was an assistant principal at the high school in 2009. He will also be remembered at Marquette University as a walk-on basketball player from 1993-1996.

"Mark was the type of person that he made you a lot better because he was so competitive he brought everyone else up," said Jackson.

Saturday's service culminated a week of remembrance. During a private memorial, tribute walls covered with handwritten notes adorned the Shorewood High School theater. It's a tough loss, but many are taking solace knowing the impact Harris left behind.

"It's great to see the out-pour of support from the community," Jackson said.

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.