Deborah Rosalyn (Bryant) Harris, 68, passed away March 12th, 2022. She was born on September 5, 1953 in Hartford, CT to the late Eugene and Elizabeth Bryant. She was educated in the East Hartford school system, graduating from Penny High in 1971. She was a lifelong resident of East Hartford. Growing up in the Hockanum Projects, Deborah and her two best friends, Kathy Johnson and Christine Bloom, began experimenting with instruments and formed a girl’s band called The Soul Chopperettes, with Kathy on bass, Christine on guitar, and Deborah on drums. They played many local venues such as dances and block parties, moving on to larger venues such as Lincoln Lake Lodge, and became the opening act for legendary performers, such as Curtis Mayfield at Madison Square Garden, and Kool and the Gang. At a dance at Sunset Ridge, she caught the eye of a talented lead vocalist for a group known as The Downbeats, and they were married June 21, 1975. From this union, they were blessed with two children, LaTonya Marie Harris, and Al Gregory Harris, Jr.
Deborah’s first job was at Newberry’s Department store in downtown Hartford, and from there she worked various jobs including Hartford Insurance Group, CBT, Town of East Hartford and Oak Hill School for the Blind. She focused her life on being a loving mother to her children and taking care of her home. She had an intense bond with her niece, Deeanna, as Deborah and her sister, Berneeda, “swapped” kids (Deeanna and Sweetpea) most weekends. She was also an active godmother to her nephew Malcolm, whom she loved dearly and resided with her for several years. She was a devoted grandmother who cherished her grandchildren. Most importantly, Deborah was a devoted wife that loved her husband and children unconditionally.
In addition to her husband, Al Gregory Harris, Sr., Deborah is survived by her daughter, LaTonya Harris (Lintonia Keitt), son Al (Jessica) Harris Jr. “Sweetpea”, step-daughter Yolanda (Wayne) Harris, sister Berneeda (Cephas) Hutchinson, brother Monroe Bryant, sister in-law Shelia Harris, brother in-law Van Harris, 8 grandchildren – Shayla, Keyara, Alana, Dysyn, Layla, Gabriel, Ulysses, Brooklynn and hosts of nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles and friends. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her brothers, Glenn, Stanley, and Ernest Bryant and her brother-n-laws John, Leon and Tyrone Harris.
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