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Broad Ripple Alumni honoring memory of former classmate

donnie harris
Posted at 7:47 PM, Jan 09, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-09 19:47:04-05

INDIANAPOLIS— Broad Ripple High School is no longer open to students, but the walls hold decades of memories.

"Broad Ripple High School in the 80's it was an amazing place to be," said Bill Myers," a member of the class of 1984.

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Myers played in the jazz band. A core memory for him was the basketball games.

"The energy of our basketball games was so uniquely different than anything else. That was our claim to fame, so you're asking me about the high school experience and I'm saying it was the basketball," said Myers.

A big part of those teams was Donnie Harris. Myers relationship with Harris was just a classmate, but they had a mutual respect for what the other was doing on game nights.

"He was very kind individual. It was a head nod and 'hey what's up Donnie, you know 'hey whats up Bill."

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Mark Webster was a year ahead of Harris and Myers, but says he called Harris a friend.

"We hung out sometimes, what we call we were boys," said Webster.

After graduation all three moved on, moving out of state before coming back to Indianapolis. Harris' classmates say he struggled after college and was at times homeless.

"We started to refer to them as Donnie Harris sightings because some one would say hey I saw Donnie down at the park," said Myers.

"Helping him or might take him home or give him some money, so that's how really we kept up with him," said Webster.

Myers had his last sighting of Harris in July at a trip to the emergency room for each of them. Myers said they spent two hours talking to each other and catching up.

donnie harris

"We caught up and he was so very proud to tell me that the got a place and was living over on 1400 Pennsylvania," said Myers.

According to a post by the Marion County Coroner's Office, Harris died on Pennsylvania Street. The post said they were having trouble locating family.

Myers said seeing that there was no one to provide Harris with a proper burial kept him up at night and he contacted Webster to get something done. The two organized a fundraiser to host a memorial.

"That love for Donnie, no matter how he was living was still there to say hey lets get this man a proper burial," said Webster.

The memorial will be held at McGowan Hall on Saturday starting at 2 pm.

"It has everything to do with Broad Ripple, it has everything to do with community, it has everything to do with helping one another out. I don't know how much more I could ever stress that," said Myers.