Lonnie Harris

Lonnie Harris, a retired Continental Can Co. worker and an active church member, died Jan. 3 of respiratory failure at Northwest Hospital. He was 88.

Mr. Harris was born in Littleton, N.C., and after the death of his parents moved to East Baltimore, where he was raised by an aunt. He attended city public schools.


For more than 40 years until retiring in 1986, Mr. Harris worked at Continental Can Co., first as a factory worker, and later as a full-time shop steward. He also coached the company basketball team.

Mr. Harris, who lived for many years on Leighton Avenue in West Baltimore before moving to Pikesville five years ago, volunteered for the Great Blacks in Wax Museum. He had also been a Baltimore Colts fan and a season ticket holder.

"I didn't miss a game played at Memorial Stadium," he wrote in a biographical sketch. "I enjoyed watching my grandson play football and basketball, while also never missing my granddaughters' dance recitals and plays."

Mr. Harris was a member of the Regents Social Club, where he participated in the organization's community outreach programs.

He was a founding member of Heritage United Church of Christ, where he served as head usher and a member of the Men's Fellowship.

"One of my most memorable experiences was traveling to the Holy Land and being baptized in the River Jordan," he wrote. "I truly lived a rich life."

Services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at his church, 3106 Liberty Heights Ave.

Surviving are his wife of 59 years, the former Virginia "Ginny" Giles; two daughters, Bonnie McCoy and Rita Harris-Bowers, both of Pikesville; four grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.