Biography: Gerline E. Harrison, affectionately known as “Gerry”, was born to Julius T. and May Lottie Roper on April 2, 1938 in Washington, D.C. and went to her eternal home on July 26, 2019. Gerline was a faithful friend, a caregiver, a hard worker and a straight-shooter with an entrepreneurial spirit and inquisitive mind. She enjoyed sewing, decorating, ME TV (she loved Columbo re-runs), good conversations and serving in her church and neighborhood.
As a child, she moved to New York City and ultimately graduated from high school. It was in New York that she also met and married Elbert Alexander Harrison. The couple raised two daughters, Karen Y. Drayton and Rhonda E. Harrison. Although she said that her greatest accomplishment was raising her children, she was a blessing to her neighbors and community.
She was a counselor and guide to the young people in her neighborhood. For decades, she was the neighborhood fashion designer and seamstress, making casual wear, prom and graduation dresses, as well as wedding gowns, complete with accessories like scarves, handkerchiefs and bags. After she “retired” from dress-making, she began making coverings for the altars of several churches, but especially for her F.A.M.E. Bethel Church Family.
Gerline was raised at Bethel, where her mother served faithfully as a nurse. Gerline became the President of Stewardess Board D and served on the Missionary Board. Her favorite subject of conversation was the Bible and coming to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Several people were “sharpened” (Proverbs 27:17) through their many discussions and debates with her about the Bible. For years, she co-hosted a Bible Study in her apartment for her neighbors. In recent years, her outreach ministry took place at the bus stop, while she was waiting to get to church.
Gerline was preceded in death by her husband, her parents and her siblings: Vermina A. “Bertha” Samuels, Julius T. “Teddy” Roper, Ellen Willie May “Dootsie” Roper, Henrieta Martinez and Lillian Rogina Holliday.
She leaves to celebrate her memory: her daughters, Karen and Rhonda; her grandson, Lamont Drayton; great-grandchildren: Kaydin Johnson, Gevon Drayton Smith, Ryan Harrison Windham and Anthony Stephen Windham; her beloved sisters: Ms. Sadie Louise Mannas and Ms. Anna Smith; a host of nieces and nephews including: Felicia Chavis, Nichelle Daniels, Raynaldo Daniels,
Sandra Daniels, Yolanda Davis, Brandon Denmark, Sterling Denmark, Erica Denmark-Thompson, Rosalyn Holliday, Vincent Holliday, Juanita Vernetta Manley, Stephanie Martinez, Troy Martinez, Blanche Richardson, Marcia Roper, Faith Thompson, Stacie Vialva; and her friends from Foster/King Towers and F.A.M.E. Bethel Church.