Miami-Dade County

Poet and artist celebrated at Miami Jewish Health Systems on her 106th birthday

Tilly Harris celebrates her 106th birthday by blowing out a single candle on her birthday cake with the help of her niece, Sallie Latch, during a party at Miami Jewish Health Systems, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015.
Tilly Harris celebrates her 106th birthday by blowing out a single candle on her birthday cake with the help of her niece, Sallie Latch, during a party at Miami Jewish Health Systems, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015. Miami Herald Staff

Tilly Harris, a longtime resident at Miami Jewish Health Systems in northeast Miami, turned 106 on Thursday and the staff helped her celebrate with a party.

Harris was born on August 13, 1909, in Quebec. She moved to Cleveland in 1924, at the age of 15, with her parents and siblings.

She was married for 30 years beginning in 1940 and adopted one son. While living in Slidell, Louisiana, for seven years, Harris was very involved in the public school system and was responsible for making a nurse available to all the public schools, segregated or not.

Harris later moved to Miami Beach, where she became a poet. She spent 25 years as president of the Association of Florida Poets, specializing in Haiku and long-form poetry. Harris also is a self-taught painter and artist.

She has lived at Miami Jewish Health Systems since January 2001.

  Comments