Cover photo for LaDell Harris's Obituary
LaDell Harris Profile Photo
1932 LaDell 2023

LaDell Harris

August 12, 1932 — November 25, 2023

Arkadelphia, Arkansas


God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.


LaDell Harris was born on August 12, 1932, in Prescott, Arkansas to Naomi Quarles (born in Dalark, Arkansas) and Clarence Brewer. She was their only child. She moved to Hope, Arkansas at a young age and that is where she lived most of her life.

Even though LaDell was an only child, she grew up around her first cousins. Her mother’s sister, Birdia Quarles Simpson, had eight children.  Her cousin, Margaret Simpson Wilson-Smith, came to live with LaDell and family when Margaret was a baby, and they were raised as sisters.

LaDell married Clarence Blake and together they had two children - Betty Blake Fortson (Marshall) and Mary Nell Blake Clay (her cousin, Lou Nell Simpson Dismuke, named both of her children).  She later married James Harris who proceeded her in death. Although LaDell only had two children, she welcomed James Haywood into her life when he moved to Hope from Chicago and she loved him like a son.

LaDell was an extremely smart and talented woman. She loved to cook and sew, and she did both things extremely well. Cooking and sharing food were one of the ways she shared her love. If you watch the tribute video, you’ll see the cake she made for her only grandchild’s first birthday.  You will also see the outfit that she made for her 11th grade prom.

She worked for the Spencer and Hays family in Hope for many years. To Ms. Betty Jo Hays and Family, LaDell felt like you were her second family. Thank you for the love that you showed her throughout the years.

LaDell’s daughter, Mary Nell, brought her to Arkadelphia from Hope in September 2014. She was in very poor health.  In “Classic LaDell Harris 101” fashion, she would dispute this fact if she were here right now. Upon arriving in Arkadelphia, she was admitted to Baptist Health Medical Center. The medical team at Baptist started nursing her back to health (Thank you!). From there, she went to the Nightingale at Arkadelphia (formerly Courtyard Gardens) nursing home, which is where she stayed until her death on Saturday, November 25, 2023.

To the amazing caregivers and staff at Nightingale - both past and present - who cared for my grandmother, I, Jameé Clay, along with my aunt, Betty, extend a heartfelt thank you to you. Without a doubt, the love, care, and compassion you gave to my grandmother for the nine years she was in the nursing home extended her life and gave us more years with her. Yes, I know she routinely complained about the food at the nursing home, threatened to file a lawsuit against you for various reasons, and gave you lots and lots of unsolicited life advice.  But I also know she felt your love. And we are truly grateful to you.

My grandmother’s eulogy will be given by my dad, Hugh D. Clay. She told him multiple times over the past several years that she wanted him to do her eulogy. He and my stepmother, Luverda, visited my grandmother on many occasions during the time that she was in the nursing home. My mother was grateful to them for visiting and so am I and Aunt Betty.

Thank you to the many others who visited my grandmother while she was in the nursing home and also in Hope.  I know she bonded with many of you over the years.  And I hope that you will have sweet memories of her for years to come.

Submitted by the Harris Family.


Services will be held at Scott's Memorial Garden Cemetery in Emmett, Arkansas on Tuesday, December 5, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. with Rev. Hugh Clay, eulogist.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of LaDell Harris, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Scott Memorial Garden Cemetery

Hwy 67 E. Hope Street, Hope, AR 71801

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