|Dorothy Joanne Lija Harrison
Dorothy Lilja Harrison ("Dottie"), 88, of Frederick, MD, passed away peacefully on Saturday,
April 25, 2020 at Homewood at Crumland Farms.
She was the beloved wife of the late, Rev. Dr. Clifford L. Harrison, Jr., for 65 years. She was
also preceded in death by her daughter Judy Johnson; her grandson, Benjamin Harrison; two
sisters, Ruth Fluno and Elaine Smith; and one brother, Donald Lilja. Dottie is survived by her
loving children Slim (Brenda) Harrison of Emmitsburg, MD, David (Maureen) Harrison of
Boston, MA and Joyce (Reginald) Harrison of Lawrence, KS; son-in-law Scott Johnson of
Columbia, MD; grandchildren Meghan (Sean) McCulloch of Baltimore, MD and Kerry and
Adam Johnson of Columbia, MD; step-grandchildren Brian (Megan) Gray of Frederick, MD,
and Vincent Gray of Pittsburgh, PA; and great-granddaughter, Amelia McCulloch of Baltimore,
Dottie was born in Minneapolis, MN on Oct. 12, 1931 to Gunnar and Nina Belkholm Lilja, and
was raised in Minneapolis, MN and Washington, DC. After graduating from McKinley
Technical High School (1949) in Washington, DC, she attended Upsala College in East
Orange, NJ, where she met and fell in love with her future husband, Clifford "Cliff" Harrison.
Cliff was a United Methodist minister in the Baltimore-Washington Conference, and the family
moved to several locations in Maryland in the 1960s through the 1990s. When they lived in rural
Harford County, Dottie took a job teaching Kindergarten at Slate Ridge Elementary School.
After the Harrisons moved to Catonsville, MD in 1970, Dottie worked as a Pre-School Teacher
and later founded a childcare program (for which she was very proud) at Cliff's church, Emanuel
United Methodist. Known as "Mother's Day Out," it continues today as Emanuel Child
Cliff and Dottie moved to Glenelg, MD in 1979, and in 1983, Dottie worked as Office Manager
for a computer security company, which was started in the basement of their church member,
Steve Walker. It later grew to become McAfee, a global leader in computer security software.
They relocated to Bethesda, MD in 1990, where Dottie was hired as an editor at the National
Institutes of Health. During that time, she authored four books for young adults, three of which
were published by Christian publisher, David C. Cook of Chariot Victor Publishing, in 1997:
The Chronicles of Courage series: A Better Tomorrow; Operation Morningstar; and Gold in the
Garden. Dottie also authored Peace, Be Still, which she self-published in 2010. Over the years,
Dottie continued to write short stories, Christian magazine articles, and numerous newspaper
In 2003, Cliff and Dottie moved to Homewood retirement community in Frederick, MD where
Dottie was always very active. She sang with the choir; was editor of the newsletter; served on
the residents' advisory board and was always eager to volunteer where needed. Fluent in
Spanish, Dottie enjoyed teaching English to Immigrant parents, and reading stories to the
children at Brunswick Elementary. The family is forever grateful for the loving care Cliff and
Dottie received from the staff at Homewood.
Dottie will be remembered for her warmth, kindness, and Swedish sense of humor. She loved
reading, writing, music and singing. She played piano and autoharp, and inspired all four of her
children to play music. Dottie would often burst into a story or song spontaneously. She was
especially fond of the hymn, "His Eye is on the Sparrow," with its lyric "His eye is on the
sparrow, and I know He watches me."
A memorial service to celebrate her life will be held at a later time when it is safe for family and
friends to gather.
Donations may be made in Dottie's name to the "Co-workers Appreciation Fund" at
Homewood, 7407 Willow Road, Frederick, MD 21702.
|Published in The Frederick News-Post from Apr. 27 to May 1, 2020.
Dorothy Lilja Harrison