A Tribute to Merlyn Harris: July 20, 1926 - May 15, 2014

It is with deep sadness on our part, but with rejoicing on her behalf, that we announce the passing of Merlyn Harris, SGNPWS Chair for fourteen years. She faithfully fulfilled that duty until the end, never wavering from the mission.

Merlyn Harris believed in education; her forty year career as an educator in the public school system is clear evidence of that. And she believed in lifelong learning. In 2001 she made up her mind that an educational program about native plants and wildflowers would be a good thing for South Georgia. If she ever made up her mind, well, that was that. The South Georgia Native Plant & Wildflower Symposium stands as a testament to her passion, dedication and leadership.

In the early years Merlyn networked with Garden Club members across the state, promoting the symposium, enlisting volunteers, applying for grants to fund the event and learning more about conservation efforts along the way. She was tireless. As a leader, she had a way of recognizing a talent or a gift in a person, and then challenging and encouraging that person to go for it! Merlyn taught us many things in the past fourteen years. Not just things about a symposium, but life lessons. She taught by example, by how she lived. Here are just a few of the things that Merlyn showed us.

  • Plan ahead and plan well.
  • Encourage and help others to step up and to reach their potential.
  • Stay accountable.
  • Keep living, keep learning.

Thank you, Merlyn Harris, for sharing and teaching, and for enriching our lives in the process. We will miss you.

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