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Story Archives: Ferriday alderman Jerome Harris loses battle with cancer at age 61
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|Ferriday alderman Jerome Harris loses battle with cancer at age 61|
Ferriday Alderman Jerome Harris lost a long, tough fight with cancer Tuesday. He was 61.
Harris battled prostrate cancer for the past months, attending meetings despite being in obvious pain. Because of his declining health, he missed the past two meetings.
Harris was an employee of the Concordia Parish School Board and prior to that worked as a plumber for the Town of Ferriday for 10 years. He began work as a custodian at Ferriday Junior High in August of 1994 before being transferred to maintenance for the School Board in 1999.
"We not only miss Jerome as part of the school system, we miss Jerome as part of the community," said Concordia Parish Supt. Loretta Blankenstein. "He really cared about the children, not just the children he knew, but all the children. Jerome was a unique person who really did live his life in support of the people he worked for and with. And he was always concerned for the children. People like Jerome are few and far between."
Harris served as alderman of District C in Ferriday since 2000. He first ran for alderman in 1996, losing to Gail Pryor, 143-132. Four years later he defeated Pryor, 177-53.
"Jerome was like a mother hen when it came to District C," said Ferriday Mayor Glen McGlothin. "But he cared about the whole town. He loved Ferriday and made no bones about it. I've known Jerome since we were kids. I'm going to miss him as an alderman, I'm going to miss him even more as a friend."
The Ferriday Town Council will appoint a replacement for Harris, and the choice must be approved by Gov. Bobby Jindal's office, according to McGlothin.
Ferriday alderman Johnnie Brown said Harris was more than just a colleague, he was like a brother.
"Our mothers were two of the original members of the Matron Club and when we were kids we would visit each other's houses when they had meetings," Brown said. "We went to school together. Jerome was a hard worker and a giving person. If somebody had a problem and needed some plumbing work done, he would not hesitate. He wouldn't wait until Monday, if it was the weekend, he would get up and go."
Brown said Harris looked after his constituents.
"He looked out for his district," he said. "If they had a problem, he would get on top of it. Because he was the senior member, I would seek out advice from him on issues. He is really going to be missed."
Ferriday alderman Elijah "Stepper" Banks said Harris was a responsible public servant.
"He was concerned and compassionate for the people," Banks said. "He was always aware of the personnel and he served the community with pride and dignity. He was loved by all and will be missed."
Ferriday Alderman Gloria Lloyd said Harris "was a good person and he had the town at heart."
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