Ruby Dell Harris

Jun 10, 1950 – Jul 18, 2017

Ruby Dell Harris obituary image 1



Ruby Dell Harris was born in Mendenhall, Mississippi on June 10, 1950, the eighth of nine children of Mattie Lee Brown Harris and A.C. Harris. In December 1952, she arrived with her family in the Pacific Northwest; the family lived near the hydroelectric dams on the Columbia River before Ruby started school in Yakima, Washington. She graduated from A.C. Davis Senior High School in Yakima as a member of the class of 1968.

As a teenager, Ruby was an active member of Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church in Yakima. During that time, she sang with the Pilgrim Travelers, which was led by Oleta Adams who went on to become an international music recording artist.

Ruby was an honor student and received numerous scholarships to attend Central Washington State College (now Central Washington State University), where she graduated in 1972 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology.

Ruby worked for the City of Seattle in various personnel positions before she was appointed and served as the Chief Examiner for the City of Seattle’s Public Safety Civil Service Commission (“PSCSC”); as the Chief Examiner of the PSCSC, she was responsible for overseeing the hiring and promotional testing for the City’s Police and Fire Departments.

During her career with the City, Ruby participated in numerous professional organizations and served as the president of the Puget Sound Chapter of the International Personnel Management Association (“IPMA”).  After her retirement from the City, Ruby became the Director of Client Support Services for The Law Office of Phillip Aaron where she worked with victims of clergy sexual abuse. She was active with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (“SNAP”) and was a speaker and presenter at various national conferences and seminars focused on clergy sexual abuse.

After a brief illness, Ruby passed away at Swedish Cherry Hill Hospital in Seattle on July 18, 2017. 

Ruby was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Georgia and Lonnie Brown, paternal grandparents, Bessie and Fed Harris; beloved mother, Mattie Lee Brown Harris; her father, A.C. Harris; her brothers, Harvey Harris (infant), Eugene Harris and Commic Harris; her nieces, Diane Harris and Renita Wyatt Gammage; her nephew, Randy Gratton; and her grand nieces, Ayanna Redmond Gratton and Natasha Harris.

Those left behind to cherish their memories of Ruby include her sisters, Emma Wyatt of Forest Grove, Oregon,  Bessie Gratton  of Seattle, Washington, and Joann Francis and her husband Roy Francis of Renton, Washington; her sister-in-law, Lucille Harris of Yakima, Washington; her brothers,  Cyrus Harris of Vancouver, Washington, and Hertis Lee Harris of Yakima, Washington; her nieces, Rosie Hanson, Nora Wyatt,  Joyce Ware, Deanna Harris, Veda Harris, Jeanice Harris, Cherrise Gratton, Brenda Harris,  and Christine Harris; her nephews, Willie Earl Harris, Curtis Harris, Lee Harris, Robert Harris, Karl Wyatt, Tommie Harris, Dwayne Harris, Marvin Harris, Brian Harris, Ronnie Harris,  James E.  Gratton, Robert Gratton, Frankco Gratton, Sr.,  and Jeffrey Harris;  numerous generations of nieces, nephews and cousins; and her special friends Betty Leon, Peggy Gratton, Phillip Aaron, Delight Tsagaan,  and Lula Carlisle.

A celebration of Ruby’s life will be held on August 18, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. at New Holly Gathering Hall, 7054 – 32nd Ave. S., Seattle, WA. 98118.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to the following:  23rd & Cherry Fellowship Hall – 2701 E. Cherry St., Seattle, Washington 98122; SNAP- Seattle Chapter; American Diabetes Association; American Cancer Society.


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