There were tears and laughter as family and friends remembered Haneefah NaTasha Williams Harris on Tuesday, Feb. 25. The funeral service for the 44-year-old mother of four was held at Voices of Faith Ministries' Stone Mountain campus where a crowd gathered to celebrate a woman who had a contagious smile and a big heart.
The Conyers resident was a victim of domestic violence. She was fatally shot on Sunday, Feb. 16, by her husband, Stanley Jerome Harris, 53. The couple was going through a divorce, those close to the family said. An argument between the couple escalated after Haneefah arrived at her husband's home on John Wesley Drive in Decatur to give him medicine for their 12-year-old son, Stanley Harris, Jr., who, along with his siblings, were visiting their father. Haneefah, friends said, always made sure her son received the medicine he needed. She gave her son one of her kidneys when he was a toddler and the medicine was essential to his well-being.
Family and friends leave Voices of Faith Ministries where they said farewell to their loved one entrusted to the care of Willie Watkins Funeral Home.
Stanley Harris surrendered peacefully to police after the shooting, which took place around 8:30 p.m. Dressed in a black hoodie and brown pants, he stood on the front porch with his hands held up. Police ordered him to walk backwards toward them and he complied, according to the police report. He was arrested and booked into the DeKalb County jail.
Although Stanley Harris did not attend his wife's funeral, he apparently was on the minds of relatives as they grieved.
"I'm going to be praying for my son-in-law," said Haneefah's mother, Eunice Williams. "I don't know what I'm going to be praying for, but I will be praying and I'm asking you all to pray, too," she said to the congregation.
Williams also said her daughter would not be buried with the Harris name because of what her son-in-law did. Instead, the family buried Haneefah as Williams, her maiden name.
Family, friends and community leaders recalled Haneefah as a fun-loving person who was always smiling and willing to help anyone.
Allison Barbour, principal of Sims Elementary School in Conyers, said Haneefah was a wonderful mother.
"She had such an amazing love for her children," Barbour said.
Haneefah encouraged others and she was very goal driven, exclaiming Whoop! Whoop! when she was excited or to express her agreement. Haneefah was striving to earn a Pink Cadillac as a sales associate for Mary Kay, the multi-level-marketing company for which she sold beauty supplies and other products. A national sales director for the company said at the funeral: "When I think of Haneefah, I think of a woman with excellence. She was amazing."
During the eulogy, Bishop Gary Hawkins, Sr. remembered his faithful member as one who loved the Lord and showed compassion for others, especially for children. He said Haneefah adopted the four children she was raising: Naimah Harris, 17; Terry Reed, 16; Stanley Harris, Jr., 12; and Naideira Harris, 8.
Haneefah, who sang soprano in the choir and served as an usher, was a member of the Voices of Faith Ministries' campus in Rockdale County.
In addition to her four children, Haneefah Williams is survived by her parents, John and Eunice Williams of Anderson, S. C.; grandmother, Mrs. Ollie Williams; and several cousins and other relatives.
Pictured at top: An anguished Eunice Williams, mother of Haneefah NaTasha Williams Harris, called for the congregation to pray for her son-in-law.