Harriet M. Lillis of East Amherst, a former Niagara Falls social worker and retired personal assistant to a noted scientist in New Jersey, died Monday in Greenfields Continuing Care Community, Lancaster, after a long illness. She was 85.
Born Harriet Murphy in St. Augustine, Fla., she received her associate's degree at the College of New Rochelle.
After World War II, Mrs. Lillis moved to Buffalo and was a social worker in Niagara Falls. She later moved to New Jersey, where she worked at Ortho Diagnostics in Raritan for Dr. Philip Levine, who did groundbreaking research on blood types.
Mrs. Lillis and her husband moved back to Western New York in 1985, after she retired.
Living in East Amherst, Mrs. Lillis became involved in volunteer work, giving her time to Hospice Buffalo and the Women's Health Initiative. She was once named Volunteer of the Year by Hospice.
Her husband of 53 years, Milan F., died in 1998.
She is survived by two daughters, Mary Jo Dahm of Williamsville and Barbara of East Amherst; two sons, M. John of Cleveland and James of Williamsville; a sister, Rita Bundschuh of Tuckahoe; five grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at noon Thursday in St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, 500 Parker Ave. Burial will be in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Town of Tonawanda.