It was Geraldine Harris' drive for knowledge that inspired many people in many ways, especially her daughter.
"She's been a motivation in my life," said her daughter Faye Hardy. "I think that I would not have pursued a higher education in cultural anthropology if it hadn't been for her."
A native of Chicago, Mrs. Harris, 84, moved to Augusta in 1984. She died Friday at University Hospital. She earned her bachelor's degree in 1939 from the University of Illinois. Thirteen years later, Mrs. Harris obtained a master's degree in social science administration from the University of Chicago.
Her daughter said she was not only charming, but academically and intellectually gifted. She added that her family has always been involved in civil groups and organizations.
Funeral services for Mrs. Harris will be at 11 a.m. today at Mount Olive Memorial Garden with the Rev. Melvin Lowery officiating.
Mrs. Harris' career as a psychiatric social worker spanned 30 years with the Children's Aide Society, Cook County Department of Public Aid and the Illinois State Welfare System.
"She felt that social work was something that she could do to help the community and people," her daughter said.
She was a member of the Gamma chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and the Alpha Kappa Delta National Honorary Sociological Fraternity. Mrs. Harris also was a member of Belle Terrace Presbyterian Church and was a former volunteer with the American Red Cross of Augusta.
Mrs. Hardy said her mother loved to volunteer for the American Red Cross. She also said that Mrs. Harris will be fondly remembered for her passion for reading and playing bridge, her quick wit, her lively debates and her commentary on current events.
"She was a very dynamic person," she said. "She was highly gifted."
Survivors also include a brother, Wilbur George; a sister, Mildred Talford; and nieces, nephews and cousins.
Reach Amy Connell at (706) 823-3220 or firstname.lastname@example.org.