Update: A visitation has been set for 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 10, at Salvatore’s/Papa Luigi’s II, 1919 12th Ave. in South Milwaukee. Details here.
South Milwaukee has lost a community treasure.
Karla Harris — one of the most dedicated community servants and volunteers I have ever met — has died after a courageous battle with cancer. She was 62 years old.
I have never seen someone so focused on helping others. Karla was tireless in her work to make her community, and world, a better place. She did so …
As a director for Lions International, building on more than two decades as a South Milwaukee Lion. As president of the South Milwaukee Police and Fire Commission. As executive director of the South Milwaukee Community Center. As volunteer coordinator for the American Red Cross and Women’s Center. As a member of the boards of the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center, Wisconsin Make-a-Wish, the UW-Milwaukee School of Education, AFS International, and others. She even helped produce a rap video.
And this Champion of Change did all of this in addition to her professional career. Yes, Karla was a truly amazing woman, one who leaves an indelible mark and legacy on this city, and me.
She was, and is, an inspiration, and she will be missed deeply.
Rest in peace, Karla. The Heaven Lions Club is lucky to have you.
Do you have a memory of Karla? Please share it in the comments section of this post.
I will also keep you posted as to service details. Molthen-Bell & Son Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.
My dad was a Lion and I wanted to give back to the community in a meaningful way. I know of no other organization that can provide the impact that Lions Clubs International does. There are so many needs in our communities, in our country, in our world. As one person, I can serve and make a difference in my community. As a Lion, I join a family of people dedicated to serving.
I will never forget the moment I handed the little white cooler of corneal transplant tissue over to the surgical clerk. “Thank you,” she said, “someone will see tonight.” Being a Lion has been the most rewarding volunteering experience I’ve ever had. I will never forget the tears rolling down the face of the 80-year-old man in Mexico when he found that after 15 years, he could finally read again through the recycled glasses I had just placed on his face. Just like I will never forget the man who told me, “You have not just provided me a Leader Dog, you have given me back my job, my freedom, my life.”
I will never forget why I am a Lion. I am Lion for life.
A life much too short.