HARRIS, DOROTHY

HARRIS, Dorothy O., 89, our mom, received her wings and joined her husband and many family members and friends in Heaven on Tuesday, October 8, 2019. She was predeceased by her loving parents, Charles and Eliza Poole Overbey; and her two sisters, Ollie Amos and Jessie O. Sizemore. Born on May 20, 1930, in Buffalo Springs, Va., mom was educated in the segregated Mecklenburg County public school system. In 1950, she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from Virginia State College (now University). In 1951, she earned her Master's Degree in Education from Virginia State College. She later completed post-graduate studies at George Washington University and the University of Virginia. Mom had an evolving career in public education that included being a classroom teacher, visiting teacher, elementary school principal and middle school principal. In 1970, she was the first black female appointed as a principal of an integrated school, Grove Park Elementary School. In addition to her professional career, she provided active leadership in a variety of civic and social organizations including The Community Foundation, Salvation Army, YWCA, NAACP, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and The Links, Incorporated. She and her husband were active in the local Civil Rights Movement in the early 1960s and opened their home to others working to promote social justice. She joined High Street Baptist Church in 1953 and played several key leadership roles over a 50-year period. In 1950, mom married Charles H. Harris who predeceased her in 1988. Together, they had four devoted daughters, Christy E. Harris-Lipford, Greta J. Harris, Kimberly H. Singh and Terrie C. Harris. Additionally, she had two sons-in-law who were like sons to her, Kewal Singh and Paul A. Lipford. She also had four grandchildren that she loved immeasurably, Charles R. Lipford, Kelsey A. Singh, Korey H. Singh and Kyndal R. Singh. She enjoyed over 70 years of friendship with Howard and Anna Robinson, parents to her only godson, Howard E. Robinson Jr. She was loved by a host of other nieces, nephews, cousins, close friends and colleagues throughout her life. And, she was lovingly supported by a variety of caregivers and at the sunset of her life, Thomasina Bullard, Kiandra Anderson and Pat Worsham were by her side. Throughout her life, mom sought the good in humanity. She always provided loving guidance to her daughters and grandchildren. She actively attended First Baptist Church of South Richmond with three of her daughters. Finally, she "mastered" technology to remain engaged in the lives of her many friends (through Facebook) and to relentlessly stimulate her mind (through Words with Friends and online Pinochle). Dorothy O. Harris remains an inspiration to her family and friends; and her legacy and impacts will last forever. The family will receive visitors from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, October 18, 2019, at Fisher & Watkins Funeral Home, 707 Wilson Street, Danville, Va. 24541. The Celebration of Life services will be held at High Street Baptist Church, 630 High Street, Danville, Va. 24541, on Saturday, October 19, 2019, at 1 p.m. While flowers are welcomed, expressions may also be made in her memory by donating to Better Housing Coalition, 23 West Broad Street, Suite 100, Richmond, Va. 23220.

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