Rayford Kenneth Harris

October 21, 1956 ~ May 13, 2019 (age 62)

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Rayford Kenneth Harris


Rayford Harris passed away in Winston-Salem on May 13, 2019, from complications of pneumonia. He was the son of Sadie Lucille Blade and Rayford Levy Harris.

Rayford was born in Greenville, Mississippi. At a very young age in Mississippi Rayford occasionally traveled with his father who played pedal steel guitar with Kirt Douglas and the Delta Drifters. Later, when his mother moved to New Orleans he left home at the age of 12 and grew up in the French Quarter. From shining shoes and delivering poboys to working as night porter on the Delta Queen and driving horse carriages in the Quarter, it was an interesting life. Although he moved to North Carolina in the early 80's his roots always pulled him back to New Orleans. His dream was to have a balcony apt on Bourbon St where he could watch the mayhem of his favorite city, and to be an artist on Jackson Square where he could display his art and engage in endless conversation. Friends knew him as a raconteur whose seemingly improbable stories were in fact true.

His wit and irreverence will be missed by many as well as his talent as an artist and chef. Rayford was known for his honesty, kindness, and fondness for animals and of course his love of music and good times. "Laissez les bon temps rouler." (“Let the good times roll.”)

He will be especially missed by his life partner, Kaila Hires. He is survived by his sister Libby Harris and brother Larry Harris of New Orleans. Other family members include his niece Becky Gracianette and grandnieces, Jayden Thomas and Dominique Walker, and Tim and Sandra Harris.  

Donations in his memory may be made to AARF of Winston-Salem. 

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