WILLIAM C. HARRIS
William C. Harris, Jr. CFSP, a native of the St. Louis metropolitan area. I am the fourth child and the only son born on February 13th 1965 to William C. Harris, Sr. and Gloria Joyce Harris and the brother to Pamela Denise, Deborah Elaine, and Amber Lynn Harris.
I attended the University City School District. I began my tenure in the funeral profession at the age of twelve years old. I was hired at the Ellis Funeral Home in February of 1977 under the guidance of my Godfather, Theodore V. Foster, Sr. and Mr. Fulton E. Culkin. In 1981, I went to work at Ted Foster & Sons Funeral Home. Upon my graduation from high school in January 1983, I was given an opportunity to become a licensed funeral director by taking the state required exam for funeral directing which was given on the 23rd of February 1983, ten days after my eighteenth birthday.
In the fall of 1991 I enrolled at the St. Louis Community College at Forest Park, for Funeral Service Education. While a student, I was afforded the opportunity to travel to London, England with my class to study the culture of funeral service at the Fredrick W. Payne Undertaking Company, which was a registered site of the British Institute of Embalming, where I received a certificate from the British Institute of Embalming. I then graduated in the spring of 1993 with an Associates degree in Applied Science.
In 1999 I was elected secretary for the Missouri State Funeral Directors and Embalmers Association and held that position until 2008. I also became a member of the National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association as a board member. In 2000 I went to work at the Wade Funeral Home as a funeral director. In 2002, I became associated with the Stygar Family of Funeral Service, where I was an independent contract funeral director. In 2004, I received my CFSP certification from the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice and at that time I was the only African American funeral director in this area with the certification, “Certified Funeral Service Practitioner”. On June 30, 2006, I purchased the funeral home, in which I was working, from the Stygar family. Now licensed as, William C. Harris Funeral Directors & Cremation Service.
At present, I am a member of the H. McGhee Alexander Lodge # 3 PHA, and a Noble of the Medinah Temple # 39, Desert of Missouri and Oasis of St. Louis. I am a member of 100 Black Men of Greater St. Louis, 100 Black Men of the NFDMA, board member of the Annie Malone Children and Family Service Center, a member of the Royal Vagabonds, Inc, and a board member of the Royal Vagabonds Foundation. I was afforded the opportunity to have my five minutes of fame as the lead role in a reality based television show “Funeral Boss”.