Harriet was born on September 21, 1925, to Elmer and Nora Austin. Along with her brothers Hugh and Harold,and her sister Velda, Harriet grew up in sunny
Harriet became a mother for the first time on March 29, 1949, when Cheryl Ann (my mama) joined the family. In the next 4 years, the family expanded to include LeRoy, Jr. and Harriet Irene. In 1962,
Harriet worked as a microfilmer at
Harriet was an avid sports fan, actively following her favorite teams throughout the season; the Dodgers, USC Trojans, and the Rams games were a priority for her, regardless of what else was going on in the world! When a sports question arose, the chorus of “Ask Harriet” resounded; she always knew the answers! Vin Scully and Jerry Doggett were among her favorites. Harriet loved to bowl and was on several teams before starting work outside the home. She and Roy spent their early retirement years on bowling leagues both in
Harriet always was the biggest kid at the table, but was able to join in the fun without ever sacrificing her role as Mother and advisor. Harriet rarely turned down the opportunity for an adventure; she went parasailing and chose a henna tattoo in 2003, got matching toe-rings with her daughter, daughter-in-law, and 3 grand-daughters in 2000, and always joined in the practical jokes (if not actually instigating them) at family gatherings. She was an avid fisherwoman, more for the entertainment of her family than for actually catching a fish. The stories that came out of watching her engage in this pastime have amused the family for generations.
Harriet also was an exceptional cook, with family favorites including her homemade pomegranate jelly, divinity, and peanut butter fudge; on the savory side, her fried eggs were second-to-none. In fact, one of her granddaughters refused for years to eat any egg that wasn’t prepared by Grandma! Harriet even roasted a turkey over the phone once, for two granddaughters (Ladyboyd and WoodsideSprite) who had a giant bird and absolutely no idea how to prepare it!
Harriet made a point of always staying connected with the family, attending all of the family weddings, and welcoming the new arrivals as each family unit grew. She had 5 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren. She met the two youngest of her great-grandchildren on July 21, 2008 (Ella and Griffin); only one of her great-grandchildren was not able to be welcomed in person by her before her death. She was more than wife, mother, grandmother, and friend; she was a genuinely wonderful woman with a heart full of love for God and her family. Harriet was a continually happy and loving influence on all who came in contact with her; she will always occupy a special place in our memories and our hearts.