Harris Funeral Home Legacy Center

We are available to serve you 24hrs a day with our on-call service. Saturdays and Sundays by appointment.

Harris Funeral Home was opened by Mr. Elihu M. Harris, Sr. and his wife, Mrs. Frances M. Harris, on August 16, 1953 in Berkeley, California. Today, 61 years later, while nine funeral homes have closed in the City of Berkeley, Harris Funeral Home is still a thriving family-owned-and-operated business as well as the only funeral home operating in the City of Berkeley. We are proud of our tenacity and our family’s history of contributions to social and moral change in our local community. In 1945, Mr. Elihu Harris, Sr. was drafted into the Army where he served for four years. Though he aspired to become a medical doctor, Mr. Harris was unable to matriculate at a professional school—mostly because of Jim Crow laws. Like many African Americans during this time, at the end of his term of military service Mr. Harris migrated from the South to the Bay Area in search of employment opportunities being created by the war. The Jim Crow laws at that time mandated segregated funeral services for citizens of the state of California. Thus Mr. Harris saw an opportunity to serve a definite need in his new community. The Harris family created a strong business by staying true to their social values. In addition to the services the funeral home provided, Mr. and Mrs. Harris made microloans to members of the community and volunteered their time to many local and national organizations. In every area, their creed was “Service That Reflects the Dignity of Every Family”. Over the last six decades, through the social upheaval that typified Berkeley in the ‘60s and ‘70s on into the new millennium, the business has quietly maintained Mr. & Mrs. Harris’ high standards. Harris Funeral Home has evolved from our beginnings serving the African American community to our position today, offering services to all mankind. The Harris’ committed much of their time to community advancement. They were active in local groups and causes, utilizing their respective military and teaching backgrounds to support the areas and neighborhoods they called home. Elihu Harris, Jr., their only child, followed their example of service, working as Congressional Aide to Congresswoman Yvonne Burke, Professor for California State University, Executive Director of the National Bar Association, and as Assemblyman in the California State Assembly. In addition, Elihu Harris, Jr. served as a member of the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board and later became Mayor of the City of Oakland in 1991. After Elihu Sr. passed away in 1998, his wife Francis continued as owner of the funeral home until her recent passing on June 3, 2010. Mrs. Harris’ transition has marked a turning point: As a family, the next generation has decided to take the funeral home in an exciting new direction. Providentially, Elihu Jr. has recently retired as the Chancellor of the Peralta Community College District, making him more available for involvement in the family business; as he also continues to maintain a private law practice. Turning The Page By adding key Legacy Preservation Services to our business model, the Harris Funeral Home is fundamentally altering our approach to serving the needs of families in the Bay Area. Through the sadness of saying goodbye to Mr. & Mrs. Harris, the family is also looking forward to maintaining our founders’ social, moral, and familial legacy as we continue to serve our community, and beyond

Give yourself time!

You don't have to carry on like nothing happened after losing a loved one. Give yourself time to process, to grieve, and to heal.

Trying to pretend like nothing happened will be harder in the long run.

There is always a reason to smile.

Even if it doesn't seem like it, there is always something to be grateful for and something that can bring a smile to your face.

Focus on that and exercise your smiling muscles today☺️

The road you walk after losing a loved one can be a difficult one.

Stay the course, celebrate their life rather than dwell on the loss, and do your best to keep their memory alive. Soon you will be on the other side.

After losing a loved one there is a grief process that is healthy to go through.

Just remember to keep going through it, don't let yourself get stuck in one of the stages. Keep making progress no matter how small.

Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.

Is there a trip you've always wanted to go on? Something you've always wanted to do?

Stop pushing things off or saying you'll do it one day. Go on that trip, learn that new skill, make those memories. Our time here is short, make every moment count!

If you're feeling guilty for carrying on with life after a loved one passes away, give yourself permission to be happy!

Don't feel guilty for laughing, smiling, and having a good time. Honor their life by living yours!

After losing a loved one, it can be hard transitioning to honoring their memory.

It can seem strange talking about them when they're no longer here, but it's also a crucial part to keeping their memory alive. Don't be afraid to speak your memories of them aloud.

There are several short-term stress reduction techniques that can help you when you're feeling overwhelmed. Here are a some ideas:

🌞 Go for a walk
🌞 Ask a loved one for a hug
🌞 Utilize aromatherapy
🌞 Create artwork
🌞 Pet an animal

Enjoy some of these activities today!

Stop to smell the flowers.

Their scent is a powerful mood booster and the green color of their leaves can help lower your stress. Step back for a moment, take a deep breath, and enjoy what's around you.

What brings you peace? Do that.

Maybe it's taking a stroll in nature or maybe it's sitting on a porch drinking your morning coffee.

Whatever it is, do it. Embrace the peace and stillness of those moments.

Never underestimate the power of fresh air. It's not going to bring your loved one back, but it can help clear your head and restore some of your hope.

When you're feeling low, step outside and let the beauty of the world inspire you.

When the journey is hard and you can't even see the summit, keep pressing on.

Going through grief isn't easy, but think about the celebration of life that waits the other side.

In the midst of the pain from your loss don't lose sight of all that you still have.

Focus on what's right in front of you and draw your joy from creating new memories with those you love.

Get back to the things you enjoy!

Resuming activities you enjoy like jogging, painting, gardening or tending to a collection will help you relax and move through the grieving process. It will reduce stress and calm your mind.

When grief is gripping you and doesn't want to let go, create your own sunshine!

Think of memories that make you happy and hold them close. Let your sunshine scatter the clouds and send the rain away.

A beautiful flower blooms from just a seed planted in the soil.

Hope planted in your heart can bloom into joy under the right conditions. Set small goals and foster an environment that will help you attain them.

Though your loved one might be gone, you still have a lot of life left to live.

Honor their memory by choosing to live out the rest of your days to the fullest. Laugh with those around you, learn a skill you've always wanted to, and love those you cherish.

Creating positive changes in your life can be challenging, especially after experiencing loss.

Start by implementing just one change and don't add another until you've conquered it. Adding too much to your plate at once will leave you feeling overwhelmed.


We're not aware of each breath we take, so stress can creep into our breathing patterns without us even realizing. This can cause shallow, constricted breathing that creates more stress - an ongoing cycle.

Take time today to stop and focus on taking deep breaths.

As the seasons change, so do the seasons of our lives.

Some seasons bring life in abundance, but others bring loss. In the midst of Fall, when you feel as though every last leaf is being shaken from you, and through the cold of winter, cling to hope, for Spring is coming.

Even during the toughest of times, there's still reason to smile.

Think of all the fond memories you've built with your loved one over the years. Honor their memory by keeping those moments alive in your heart and smiling when you think of them.

When you lose a loved one it can be hard to go back to a "normal" life. There's a balance between honoring their memory but continuing to care for yourself.

An important thing to remember is you don't have to suppress your emotions during this transition. Transitioning back into your normal routine doesn't mean forgetting about the person, it's about honoring their life while continuing to live yours.

Wanting to start and actually starting can be two very disconnected notions.

Choose to turn your one day into day one! Don't despise the day of small beginnings. Progress is progress no matter how slow it may seem. Every storm begins with one single rain drop and every tree starts as a tiny little seed.

A sunrise is a beautiful reminder that everyday is a gift and tomorrow is never promised.

Take time today to find gratitude in the big, little, and often overlooked. Acknowledging the things your grateful for on a daily basis increases your overall happiness.

Harris Funeral Home Legacy Center

We are available to serve you 24hrs a day with our on-call service. Saturdays and Sundays by appointment.


John Thierry (1971 – 2017), former NFL defensive end was a first round pick for the Chicago Bears in 1994

legacy.com Played 9 seasons for the Bears, Browns, Packers, and Falcons…


Children Grieve, Too: 8 Helpful Child Grief Awareness Resources

legacy.com These organizations give children hope that "it won't always hurt so bad."


Hugh Hefner (1926 – 2017), founder of Playboy, 20th-century media icon

legacy.com Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy magazine, died Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles, according to multiple news sources. He was 91.


Liliane Bettencourt (1922 – 2017), the richest woman in the world

legacy.com Liliane Bettencourt, L’Oreal cosmetics heiress, and the richest woman in the world, died at her home in Paris on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, according to The Associated Press. She was 94.


Barbara Blaine (1956 – 2017), founded Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

legacy.com Ohio native launched the largest support group for clergy sex abuse victims.


Central Mexico Earthquake Victims

legacy.com At least 104 people have been killed in a major earthquake…


Jake LaMotta (1922 - 2017), legendary boxer

legacy.com Boxing legend was portrayed by Robert De Niro in the film "Raging Bull."


Lillian Ross (1918 - 2017), legendary reporter for The New Yorker

legacy.com Pioneering journalist was friends with Ernest Hemingway and J.D. Salinger…


Lillian Ross (1918 - 2017), legendary reporter for The New Yorker

legacy.com Pioneering journalist was friends with Ernest Hemingway and J.D. Salinger…


Died September 21

legacy.com Florence Griffith Joyner was the fastest woman on Earth – and of all time. We remember Griffith Joyner's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.

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1331 San Pablo Ave
Berkeley, CA

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00
Saturday 00:00 - 12:00
Sunday 00:00 - 12:00
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