Lillian Harris

Obituary of Lillian Harris

Lillian Harris, 95, of St. Petersburg, passed away June 19, 2022 at Suncoast Hospice. Born and raised in Peoria, Illinois, she attended Illinois Wesleyan University. She lived in Chicago, Illinois and Princeton, New Jersey before moving to Florida in 1956. She was preceded in death by her parents, William and Anna (Bauer) Thornton; her husband, John W. Harris; her sister, Rosemary Norton; and her daughter, Anne Christine (Chris) Lee. Lillian is survived by her son, William H. Mathis, and daughters, Barbara (Barbie) Hardcastle, Deborah (Debbi) Mathis, and Mary Jane Mathis, Steve Harris, Jill Johnson, and Dana Johnson; grandchildren Joy Mayer, Reed Mathis, Martha Mathis, Bryan Lee, Amy Powell, Wes Hardcastle, Brad Hardcastle, Karen Hardcastle, Michael Heinerth, Jessica Cooper, Anna Prenatt, and Lindsay Way; 13 great-grandchildren, several cousins, one niece and nephew, two great-nephews, and two great-nieces.

Lillian was a commercial artist and owned Dixie Printing in St. Petersburg with her husband, Jack, for many years. Her artistic talents adorn the homes of many family members, for whom she created beautiful pieces of art celebrating her loved ones.

As a member of First Presbyterian Church in St. Petersburg for 66 years, she was a beloved contributor to the music of the church—first as the wife of the Director of Music and accompanist for the youth and children’s choirs, and until shortly before her death, as an active choir member, including the bell choir. A highlight for her was performing with the Swarthmore, PA choir in Europe in the years before moving the family to Florida.

Since 1967, Lillian has been the “Keeper” of the Memorial Books for her church, where her calligraphy recorded the special funds given in memory of loved ones. She also served her church through the Card Ministry, and for decades, her beautifully hand-written, heartfelt messages cheered, greeted, and comforted those who were celebrating events or mourning loved ones. She was active in Presbyterian Women, church mission projects, and she volunteered for decades as a proofreader for the church’s written communications. She also was a member of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity. In later years, she volunteered for Meals on Wheels.

Lillian has lived her entire life in service to God, her family, and all who needed her. Her life has been a model of love, mercy and acceptance of others. Her kind words of love and support will be remembered by all who knew her, and her sharp mind, positive outlook and reassuring guidance will be missed.

A Celebration of Lillian's Life will be held Sunday, July 10, at 2:00 pm at First Presbyterian Church, 701 Beach Drive, NE, St. Petersburg, Florida. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to First Presbyterian Church at or to Hospice Foundation at

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Celebration of Life

2:00 pm
Sunday, July 10, 2022
First Presbyterian Church
701 Beach Dr NE
St. Petersburg, Florida, United States
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