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Many Bears attend funeral for Tommie Harris’ wife

Services for Ashley Harris (with husbTommie) were held Friday New Orleans.  |  Getty Images

Services for Ashley Harris (with husband Tommie) were held on Friday in New Orleans. | Getty Images

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Updated: March 19, 2012 10:10AM

In eight NFL seasons, Tommie Harris endeared himself to plenty of players and coaches, and many of them traveled to New Orleans in his time of need.

On Friday, Harris buried his wife, Ashley, who died on Sunday after being hospitalized because of a stroke or a brain aneurysm two days earlier.

“It was a celebration of an incredible life,” family friend Bill Horn said. “To see how many lives she touched in a short period of time was amazing, and the support he received from former coaches, ­teammates, family and friends speaks volumes about the ­character of Tommie Harris.”

Although the Bears released him before the 2011 season, many in the organization were on hand Friday, including coach Lovie Smith, linebacker Lance Briggs, running back Matt Forte, cornerback Charles Tillman and defensive linemen Anthony Adams, Israel Idonije, Amobi Okoye, Julius Peppers and Matt Toeaina. Former Bears Adewale Ogunleye, Nathan Vasher, Rashied Davis and Antonio Garay were in attendance.

Former Bears assistant coaches Don Johnson and Eric Washington were also on hand, along with ­current NFL players such as Minnesota Vikings ­running back Adrian Peterson, Arizona Cardinals ­receiver Larry Fitzgerald and Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.

No one went to greater lengths to get to the funeral than Fitzgerald. He was vacationing in South America, and he jetted back — including paying for a charter for one leg — to be there for Harris. Fitzgerald then returned to South America after the funeral.

Ashley Harris was 29, and she gave birth to the couple’s second child four months ago.

Former NFL player Miles McPherson, now the ­pastor at The Rock Church in San Diego, delivered the eulogy.

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