Jackie Lee Harris slipped away peacefully in her home of nearly 50 years during the wee hours of August 1st. Born to Dorothea and Robert Graham, it was fitting that Jackie chose to be called "Gram" when she became a Grandmother. Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Jackie moved to San Francisco in her early 20's, where she met and married her eternal sweetheart, Douglas Roy Harris , with whom she will now be reunited. Jackie graduated Salutatorian of Brackenridge High School class of 1951, attending the very same school in San Antonio, Texas as both her parents. During her early days in San Francisco, she and several friends rented an apartment in Pacific Heights District where several players from the San Francisco Seals lived as well. Jackie continued to be a Giant Fan and did love to cheer on her favorite Catcher/1st Baseman Buster Posey. Once while they were dating, Doug rode the jitney to Jackie's place to play some pinochle. She ended up winning everything including his bus fare home, and he ended up walking home rather than tell her! Figuring not everyone would want to make the trip to Carmel, Jackie and Doug invited all their friends and co-workers to their Wedding on May 16, 1959. It turned out to be one of the first beautiful days of the year, prompting most everyone to attend their nuptials at the Church of the Wayfarer. Jackie was pregnant with her first child while living in Daly City during the latter months of 1960. When Jackie Kennedy gave birth to JFK Jr. in November, the headline of the SF Chronicle read "Jackie Has Baby!'. It occurred to her that it might be clever to include copies with the birth announcements she would soon be sending out, as if to make it appear the blessed event had made the paper!
While living in San Francisco, Jackie worked for AH Meyers, a distributor for RCA, and was delighted she got the opportunity to meet and take photos with crooner Perry Como the day he came to visit. Jackie was a pioneer of the work from home movement in the 1960's, which allowed her to be a stay-at-home Mother and Homemaker to both her family and the many kitty cats that did come into her life. She was employed by the National Secretarial Service who would drop dictation at her door, and she did often type correspondence for Jack Shelton, the renowned SF Restaurant Critic whose intent was to never be recognized. Jackie never possessed a Driver's License, though she did accomplish quite a lot relying on public transportation. She was one of the earliest Bart Commuters to San Francisco's Financial District, walking to and from the newly completed Pleasant Hill station. Jackie eventually went to work for the travel agency in Point Richmond, near to where Doug worked and they finally had the opportunity commute together. Doug was a painter of San Francisco scenes and she enjoyed accompanying him to the many Bay Area art shows he would enter. Jackie won many prizes entering "jingle contests" in the 60's and then in the 70's and 80's mailing in rebates. At Christmastime, many weird and wonderful gifts from the "Mad Refunder" could be found under the tree!
Jackie loved to read and could often be found with her nose buried in a book, and was especially fond of English murder mysteries. She loved playing card and board games that required strategy and was an avid Bridge player into her 80's, accumulating many Master points during her lifetime. Besides Bridge, Jackie love Blackjack, Poker and Mexican Train Dominoes. Jackie possessed a sharp and inquisitive mind and could answer Jeopardy clues in the weeks leading up to her passing. Though she enjoyed the line-up of guest hosts, Jackie took to watching Alex Trebek in his prime via Classic Concentration re-runs. She even competed on a local Minneapolis, Minnesota game show in the mid-sixties, during the short period they lived there while Doug and his colleague tried their hand at inventing a mobile phone. Their Plymouth Valiant sported a car phone that took up much of the front seat in 1965! Jackie attended San Francisco State University where she studied the works of William Shakespeare, earned her Bachelors Degree in Liberal Arts and taught a semester of Bonehead English. She was proud to have one of her short stories published in a Mystery Writers Anthology.
Jackie loved Las Vegas and she was delighted to have gone there for her 85th Birthday. She wore her tiara and sash all day and loved the Birthday wishes she received throughout the day. When her family attempted to talk her out of visiting Pawn Stars, she insisted it was where she wanted to go. Low and behold, her favorite character, Mark ,the Clark County historical expert approached her and chatted her up while we took lots of photos. Jackie and Doug's Birthdays were just a few weeks apart and for many years we would celebrate the two of them inside the infield at Bay Meadows Racetrack. Doug was a painter of San Francisco scenes and she enjoyed accompanying him to the many Bay Area art shows he would enter. Jackie loved to travel and was fortunate to have visited many places in the States and abroad. Once postponed, she lamented that she would likely not live to see Hugh Jackman reprise the role of Professor Harold Hill in the Music Man on Broadway. She had hoped the trip to New York would include a ride in The Cash Cab, noting all the places she might intercept cabbie Ben Bailey! For many years, Jackie regularly attended Fair Oaks Baptist Church. She enjoyed the Sunday Evening Traditional Hymn Service, and would often sit in the very front row, piping up with her hymn requests when prompted.
She joins her dearly departed husband Douglas, her Aunt Helen and Uncle Van, who raised her from the age of 7, as well as her sister (cousin) Ann and brother (cousin) Douglas. She leaves behind her devoted daughters, Laura and Lisa, granddaughter Melinda, son-in-law Randy and several nieces, nephews, cousins and numerous friends. At her request, there will be no traditional service, however her cremains will be scattered in the San Francisco Bay, as were those of her beloved husband who passed away in August of 2000. Memorial gifts in her memory may go the Marine Mammal Center, the Contra Costa Food Food Bank, KQED, the Monument Crisis Center. and to St. Jude's Research, of which Jackie was a proud supporter. The Family would like to thank both Health Flex Hospice and Hospice of East Bay for the compassionate care she received. We would like also thank everyone who took the time to stop by to visit her, call, pray and send cards.
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