It is with great sadness that we report the death of Brittnee Harris (pictured with Dr. Jay Castaneda), 2010 Georgetown College graduate and psychology major.Â Brittnee received the department’s Mark Eddy Award for 2010 and the College’s Deborah Courage Award.Â Please read on to read Dr. Castaneda, Dr. Lookadoo, and Mrs. Torie Brown Hundley’s reflections of Brittnee and to view her obituary.
Brittnee Lee Harris, 25, of Discher Drive, daughter of Brenda Jo Harris passed away Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at the Georgetown Community Hospital.
A native of Prestonsburg, she was a 2004 graduate of Franklin County High School and a 2010 graduate of Georgetown College where she was the recipient of The Deborah Award for Courage.Â She was also a volunteer for Hospice of the Bluegrass.
Survivors besides her mother include a half sister, Stevie Montgomery; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and her family at the ER of Georgetown Community Hospital; and her beloved service companion, Bartlett.Â She was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Lloyd and Hanna Calhoun.
Memorial services will be 11:00 AM Friday at the John L. Hill Chapel at Georgetown College by Rev. Kenneth D. Holden.Â Honorary bearers will be Jessica Neville, Whittney Gibson, McKenzie Perry, Kory and Audrey Rose Caudill and Tori Hundley.Â Visitation will be 6â€”9PM Thursday at Johnsonâ€™s Funeral Home.
Memorial may be made to the Canine Companions for Independence, PO Box 446, Santa Rosa, CA. 95402.Â Â wwwjohnsonsfuneralhome.com
Reflections delivered during Brittnee’s funeral by Dr. Castaneda:
In trying to think of what to say at such an occasion I started by looking through her previous assignments in my classes to look for any inspiration and any sense of understanding.Â I found as I was looking through the papers I was overwhelmed with a surreal feeling.Â I realized that my feelings were because I felt that I should be doing this type of research for her letter of recommendation not for this purpose.Â This time of year she should have been asking for references for possible graduate school or work placements .. and she would have been more than qualified.Â She was an amazingly bright student and I always smiled when I saw that she was on my roster for an upcoming class.Â This made me examine my strong feelings of disbelief and frustration at the loss of such an amazing person so early in life.
In looking through her previous work with me I also looked through her previous emails.Â I realized that as I was looking through them that 2/3rds of the emails had health concerns.Â I wondered to myself â€śhow was I so surprised at the news of her passing?â€ťÂ I realized that it was because of her eternally energetic and optimistic personality.Â In talking with her I never once thought of the cumulative effect of all of these ailments because she was always so alive.Â I realized how inspired I had been by her, her curiosity, her intellect, and her overall friendliness.
Also from looking through her assignments I found a reaction paper from her Dying, Grieving, and Coping class.Â The paper was a reaction to a movie which focused on a womanâ€™s battle with terminal cancer.Â Brittnee was particularly struck by one specific line in the movie which she reacted to.Â She explained that a year before this paper her grandmother had been in Hospice and had passed away.Â She said that she had been reading to her and read this same line to her grandmother who by this time was fairly unresponsive.Â Her grandmother smiled at the line and said â€śprettyâ€ť.Â Brittnee explained that when the movie used this line she had a strong bittersweet reaction: on one side she was saddened by the line because she had not thought of her grandmother or this incident for awhile but she also felt good to hear this line because she remembered her grandmotherâ€™s smile and this line led her to cherish her all the more.Â I would like to close by repeating this line that she found so meaningful which I believe was originally from Hamlet.Â â€śon flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.â€ťÂ I will miss you greatly Brittnee.
Reflections of Brittnee by Dr. Regan Lookadoo
Brittnee Harris was an extraordinary young woman. I had the privilege of having her in several classes and each time I learned valuable life lessons from her. Brittnee was determined, responsible, honest and a remarkably hard worker. To say she was dedicated to her education is quite the understatement. On many occasions Brittnee was terribly ill and yet she managed to submit her work, read course readings, and participate in online discussions. She would repeatedly apologize for missing class despite my reaassurance that I understood and certainly excused her absences but that wasn’t enough for Brittnee. She desperately wanted to simply attend class, do her work, and prepare for her future. Perhaps that is the most significant lesson I learned from Brittnee—she looked forward beyond the present even a present that was discouraging and uncertain she still looked forward and she did so with hope. I will never forget the hope she had for herself and others. She was the most courageous young woman I have ever met. In May following graduation I mailed her an Angel of Courage figurine and told her how much I valued her—little did I know how true that representation would be—Brittnee, I will miss you forever and I will never forget you, my Angel of Courage.
Reflections delivered by Mrs. Torie Brown Hundley during Brittnee’s funeral
Last night we shared several stories with each other remembering Brittnee… Here are just a few of our favorites:
Brittnee was very persuasive! She could convince anyone to do anything! Several years ago, Brittnee had an electric fence installed outside her home for her precious dog, Bebe.Â Concerned the electric fence would hurt Bebe, she convinced Jessicaâ€™s brother, Jon to put the shock collar on and walk across the yard to just test it out. Jon, encouraged by Brittneeâ€™s sweet concern for Bebe, tested the fence out. Jon immediately fell to the ground and Brittnee was left in tears laughing so hard.
Brittnee also loved to shopâ€¦.ANDâ€¦ALOTâ€¦ I firmly believe the sole purpose for Bartlett was to enable her to increase her shopping bags… by double! Brittnee would get a coupon in the mail and text me â€śOMG! Express Jeans on saleâ€¦ we have to go…we canâ€™t miss it!!â€ťÂ When we would finally get there.. I would pick out an outfit and ask â€śOutfit A?â€ť or â€śOutfit Bâ€ť? She would quickly justify why I needed not one.. but BOTH outfits.Â She would even shop online and have her packages shipped elsewhere so she wouldnâ€™t get in trouble for her shopping obsession. Brittnee was our sassy fashion queen.Â I recall a time just a few weeks ago at the Designer Shoe Warehouse in Lexington and I ran into Brittnee and Jessica.Â I was looking to ONLY spend a $25 gift card I had received as a gift. I couldnâ€™t find a pair of shoes for under $25 I liked. But no fear, Brittnee picked out a MORE expensive pair of zebra print shoes that she insisted I HAD to have, despite the 5 inch high heel and my inability to walk in them. She explained sometimes we must sacrifice our comfort for cuteness! I will always remember Brittneeâ€™s passion for fashion, purses, and make up! So, today and in the days ahead, Brittnee, I pray you watch over us, make sure my shoes always match my outfit, my lipstick is the right shade of red, and my purse is always in style!
On a more serious note: There are no real words that can begin to justify the wonderful daughter, cousin, and dear friend Brittnee was.Â Brittnee was a genuinely beautiful person inside and out. She was loving and always thoughtful of others. She had a happy smile on her face and always a positive attitude. We are so blessed to have shared our lives with Brittnee. I know she has touched each of us in so many ways.Â The lesson weâ€™ve all learned from Brittnee is that of courage and strength. Iâ€™ve never met a stronger more determined person than Britt. She is proof that we can all achieve our dreams no matter the obstacles placed in front of us.Â Brittnee was determined to drive and graduate from college. Dreams we never imagined possible. Today and in the days ahead we must remember Brittnee for the friendship we shared, the joy she brought to our lives and each of her dreams she accomplished while she was here.
Brittnee…You will live on in every smile brought on by your memory and in the hearts of each of us. We love you our sweet angel and will miss you always.Â You have blessed our lives more than you will ever know.