Bishop Doll Dead at 81

Episcopal News Service. [84174]

BALTIMORE (DPS, Sept. 6) -- The Rt. Rev. Harry Lee Doll, tenth bishop of Maryland, died on August 27, 1984. He was 81.

Doll had served churches in the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Texas before he accepted the call to become rector of Saint Paul's Parish here in 1942. He served in that post until 1955 when he was elected and consecrated a bishop suffragan of Maryland. In 1958 he was elected bishop coadjutor of the diocese of Maryland and served in that capacity until assuming the responsibility of bishop of the diocese in 1963.

Doll was born in Martinsburg, W.V. in 1903. He was an honors graduate of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., and attended the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, where he received his degree in theology in 1933. In 1945, the seminary awarded him the degree of Doctor of Divinity (honoris causa) for his leadership in church and community affairs.

In 1933 he married Delia Francis Gould of Birmingham, Ala. The Dolls have three daughters: Millicent Scott Doll Shargel, The Rev. Mary Chotard Doll and Rebecca Tidball Doll Clark and one granddaughter, Delia Gould Shargel.

Doll's ministry was marked by deep commitment in several areas of church and community. The civil rights movement swept the country during his episcopate, and he was in the forefront of those whose words and deeds demonstrated a concern for the rights of all minorities. Braving strong opposition within his diocese, he supported the 1969 General Convention Special Program. Three years earlier, Doll and his Roman Catholic counterpart, Lawrence Cardinal Shehan, had joined in public support of open housing legislation, for which they were both booed and jeered at a city council meeting.

Ironically, Shehan and Doll, who worked closely together over the years, died within hours of each other and their funerals were on the same day. Writing of Doll to his successor, the Rt. Rev. David K. Leighton, Shehan's successor, Archbishop William D. Borders, said "(He) will be long remembered for his spiritual leadership and empathetic concern for the welfare of people at all levels."

A strong desire for Christian unity led Doll to serve as president of the Maryland Council of Churches and to his role as one of the founders and members of the first Board of Trustees of the Ecumenical Institute of Theology at Saint Mary's Seminary and University in Roland Park.

An ardent champion of the Book of Common Prayer as it was revised and adopted for use at the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in 1979, Doll also endorsed with great enthusiasm the movement within the church which led to the ordination of women to the priesthood.

Services for Doll were held at the Church of the Redeemer on Friday, Aug. 31. The preacher for the service was the Rt. Rev. John Eldridge Hines, retired Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. Redeemer had also been the site of many of the major events of Doll's episcopate, including his installation as bishop and his retirement ceremony.