Friends of Wilburn Harris to host hamburger benefit

Friends of the late Wilburn Harris have planned a special benefit hamburger lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 16 on the courthouse lawn in Rayville.

Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at Rayville Town Hall, The Rayville Police Department, the Richland Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Council on Aging Office or from any member of the McGuire Lodge.

The late Wilburn Harris and his family suffered so much pain and stress following his surgery and the prolonged illness that “hit him” overnight in December 2008. He had been a patient in Schumpert Medical Complex for his special care until his death on March 28. Family members were by his side during this time.

Friends of both Wilburn and his family planned this benefit to let them know that “Homefolks” care and wanted to show their love and support to them.

Wilburn was born in Yazoo County, Miss. He served in World War II and married Geri Boyd of Holly Bluff, Miss. They moved to Rayville in 1955. They have three children and three grandchildren.

Wilburn had served our town for so many years. He joined the Rayville Police Department in l963. Upon retirement of the Chief of Police, he ran for the office and was elected. He held this position and served his community well as Chief of Police, a position he held for 27 years. He was also an active member in the R.F. McGuire Lodge No. 209, F&AM.

Following his retirement, he worked with local funeral homes. Both Troy Dennard and Bobby Hales agree that he was a “people person” and his relationship with the bereaved families was always a kind and sympathetic nature.

Dr. Ernest Winburn stated Mr. Wilburn was a long-time member of First Baptist Church and for over 25 years, he served as usher welcoming Sunday visitors. This benefit is an opportunity for our church and community to show our love for Brother Harris and his family during this medical crisis.

Mr. Wilburn had been a part of the Richland Sheriff’s office for nine years and served as traffic officer at many funerals throughout the parish. Sheriff Charles McDonald states “I always felt that everything would run smoothly when Wilburn was on the job.”

Wilburn and Geri were charter members of Saints Alive, a senior organization of the First Baptist Church directed by Reatagae Wooden and the late Harold Wooden. Wilburn served as president, vice president, outreach and almost every known position He readily accepted his responsibilities. Reatagae Wooden stated that Wilburn and Geri were frequent travelers with the Saints Alive and tour group. Actors were always needed to perform and Wilburn always volunteered and could “ham it up.”

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