Gloria Arroyo Harris, 88, of Hamburg, passed away Wednesday, January 24, 2018, surrounded by her family. Lovingly known to her family and friends as Nanny, she was a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico and a resident of Hamburg for the past 53 years. Mrs. Harris was a member of the First Baptist Church. She worked for over 20 years in the Hamburg School District with Spanish speaking students who were making the transition to the English language. It was such a joy to her when these same students graduated from high school with honors and went on to college. She also worked bridging the communication barrier for Hamburg’s growing Hispanic population by translating for families and employers in the community. Mrs. Harris was known by many in Hamburg as she often walked from her home, a block from the town square, to her favorite businesses where she was greeted with warmth and great conversation. She had a great love of books and was a voracious reader making many trips to the Ashley County Library to put her name on the list for the next bestseller. She frequently raided the book shelves of her children’s homes looking for new and interesting books to read. If a book went missing, the first thought was to look for it at “Mom’s house”. She loved the beach and made many trips to Florida with her children, where she would happily spend the day in the sun with a book in her hands. She traveled often to her beloved Puerto Rico, where she spent time with her beautiful family there. She loved music and constantly played all of her favorite records and CD’s. She passed on her love of music to her children who continue to play all of her old favorites. Her entire life was devoted to her 6 children and 13 grandchildren. She loved hard and in abundance, showering every single one of them with her fierce love and support. Each of us will tell you in private that we are secretly her favorite.
She is preceded in death by her husband of 42 years, Bobby G. Harris in 1995; her parents, Narciso and Juanita Espivalo Arroyo; a sister, Virginia M. Blain and five brothers, Roberto, Miguel, Junior, William and Marcos Arroyo.
She is survived by her loving children, a son, Bobby Harris and wife, Vesta, of Sheridan; five daughters, Myra Huth and husband, Tom, of Panama City Beach, Florida, Peggy Duvall of Conway, Melody Piazza and husband, Chris, of Little Rock, Marilyn Harrison and husband, Al, of Hamburg and Ileana Dobbins and husband, Alan of Little Rock; two sisters, Julita Mercado and husband, Alejandro, of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico and Lillian Nebo of Nashville, Tennessee; 13 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services are 10 a.m, Saturday, January 27, 2018 at the First Baptist Church with Dr. Bobby Pennington officiating. Burial will be in the Hamburg Cemetery. Pallbearers are Michael Crowson, Chase Harris, Gabriel Harris, Courtney Maxwell, Sam Piazza, Andrew Dobbins, Brandon Dobbins and Adam Rice. The family would like to express its gratitude and thanks to the staff of Hospice Home Care in Little Rock for their care and guidance through our Nanny’s journey. Memorials may be made to the Hamburg Schools Foundation, 202 E. Parker Street, Hamburg, AR or to the Ashley County Library, 211 E. Lincoln Street, Hamburg, AR 71646.
Visitation will be 6-8 p.m., Friday at the funeral home.