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Milwaukee community mentor Robert Harris Jr. remembered for his service

Posted at 11:02 PM, Jan 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-16 00:02:14-05

The life or Robert Harris Jr. is remembered on the day we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King. A fitting day for a man of great service.

Harris was a Korean War veteran, a coach, a teacher, a mentor, and a volunteer extraordinaire.

"We wanted to give people who my father impacted the opportunity to attend his funeral," said daughter Roberta Harris.

Harris died last week at the age of 90. His daughters admit, they shared their dad with the community.

"Since childhood we've heard endless stories from people about how our father changed their lives," Roberta said.

Robert Harris Jr. held a host of leadership positions over his lifetime. He worked with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Police Athletic League and the Milwaukee Public School System

In 2007 he was featured on Positively Milwaukee. Harris was a volunteer coach helping students with their homework. For many in Milwaukee, Robert Harris Junior was the dad they never had.

"He was a surrogate father to so many many students who didn't have a father role in their life," said Patrice Harris.

The Harris daughters say when confronted with racism their dad never gave up.

"He applied to UWM School of Education program and was denied because of his race. But he kept pushing and became the first African American student in that program," Patrice said.

The daughters of Harris admit they've learned a powerful lesson from their father. The importance of reaching out.