Dorothy May Ericson Harris Lewis

1917 - 2011

Dorothy May Ericson Harris Lewis, 93, of Rolla, Missouri, died on Saturday, November 19, 2011, at the Presbyterian Manor in Rolla, Mo. Dorothy was born on her family’s farm on December 24, 1917, near Clyde, Kansas. She was the eldest daughter of Edwin Ericson and Hilda Erickson Ericson. She graduated from Clyde High School and Salt City Business College in Hutchinson, Kansas. She had many occupations as a young adult, including being a nanny, managing a bowling alley, and working as a secretary. During World War II, she was a USO volunteer. Dorothy was a Life Member of Beta Sigma Phi International, a social and service sorority. In the 1940s she worked as a field representative, establishing sorority chapters throughout the Midwest. She married John Tyler Harris in 1950 and in this marriage two sons and one daughter were born. She was widowed in 1961, and then married Thomas Lewis in 1963, adding his son and a daughter to their family. She was a volunteer at Cochran Gardens housing project in St Louis in the 1960s and 70s. In the 1980s she earned an Associate degree in Human Services from Meramec Community College in St. Louis, Missouri . In 1986, Dorothy and Tom retired to rural Auxvasse, Missouri. She relocated to Rolla in 2000. She served as a young parent mentor at the Phelps County Community Partnership, and completed training at the Russell House Shelter for battered women while in her 80s. She completed the University of the South’s Education for Ministry training at the age of 90. Dorothy was a member of Hope Lutheran Church. Dorothy’s love for basketball began as a high school player and she attended games until age 92. She enjoyed Bible study, volunteering in church and community organizations, traveling to see family, playing Scrabble and card games, and discussing current events. She is survived by her sister: Hazel Mussetter of Kingston, Wash. and by four children: Thomas Lewis Jr. (Linda) of Park Hills, Mo., Eric Harris (Sally) of St. Louis, Mo., Greg Harris (Cindy) of Rolla, Mo., and Sarah Harris (Bruce Kimball) of Decatur, Ga. She is also survived by six grandchildren: Dr. Carolyn Koenig Bram (Douglas), Christopher Koenig (Jennifer), Tyler Harris (Sarah), Aaron Lewis, Alison Harris; and Bradley Harris. She will be greatly missed by each of them, and by numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Dorothy was preceded in death by husbands, John Tyler Harris and Thomas Earl Lewis; her daughter, Mary Lewis Koenig; three sisters: Lorene Schubert, Evelyn Brown, and Helen Racette; and two brothers: Evert Ericson and Clifford Ericson. A visitation will be held at Christ Episcopal Church, 1000 North Main, in Rolla, on Saturday, December 3, from 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. A memorial service will follow at the same location at 2:00 p.m., with the Rev. Richard Krenning officiating. Her ashes will be interred at the Williamsburg Cemetery, Williamsburg, Mo. In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to Engineers Without Borders, Missouri University of Science and Technology, 209 Castleman Hall, 400 West Tenth St, Rolla, MO 65409-0460.