Gerda Karola Harris, age 92, of Indianapolis, Indiana, passed away on Sunday, January 14, 2024. She was born on January 10, 1932 in Mannheim, Germany, to the late Fritz Walker Albrecht and Karolina Maria Albrecht.
Gerda grew up in Mannheim during WWII where she met her future husband Andrew Lee Harris, a Master Sergeant in the U.S. Army in 1948. The two married in 1953 in Mannheim and soon after Andrew received orders to move to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. During their five years in Milwaukee, they became parents to three children, Gerda learned to speak English with the help of her husband and part time job at Gimbels Department store as a salesclerk. Once she became a mother, she stayed at home to raise her children.
Gerda traveled extensively throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Europe during her husband’s military career of 28 years. When Andrew retired from the Army in 1968, they decided to make their home in Indianapolis, Indiana, where Andy’s family remained after moving up north from Clarendon, Arkansas where he was born. It was here in Indianapolis that Gerda began a career in medical records at Methodist Hospital rising to a supervisory position. She retired from Methodist after 25 years of service. Her beloved Andy died in 2002, making her a widow after 49 years of marriage to her best friend. Gerda was devoted to her children and her six grandchildren and spent her time pouring into them and attending their various sports and school activities. She rarely missed an activity and was known as “Oma” by all their friends. Gerda enjoyed knitting, reading and traveling back home to Germany to visit her three sisters and brother, along with their families.
Gerda is survived by her three children, Celeste Burks (Derrick), Suzanne Harris Lucas, Mark Harris (Beverly) and six grandchildren: Channing Burks Chatmon (Ed), Ciersten and Courtney Burks, Corinthe’ Harris Bailey (Shamar), Cameron Harris (Nazret) and Chelsie Harris Evans (Dave), along with five great-grandchildren. Three sisters, Doris Betzner, Roswitha Kurz (Helmut) and Hannelore Herm and several nieces and nephews.
A visitation will be held on Saturday January 27th from 10am-12pm with a funeral service at 12pm at Flanner Buchanan-Washington Park North at 2706 Kessler Boulevard West Drive, Indianapolis, IN, 46228. Burial to follow immediately after at Washington Park North Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please make a memorial contribution in Gerda’s memory to Heart Change Ministries, Inc by mail to 1405 N Tuxedo St, Indianapolis, IN 46201-1640.