1927 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
The light of San Francisco dimmed a bit on September 9th when Harriet Meyer Quarre passed away peacefully at her home at the age of 89. The youngest child of Wilson and Mabel (Mimi) Meyer, Harriet is predeceased by her brothers, George Wilson Meyer, who died serving his country in 1945, and Jeffery Wilson Meyer, who died in 2006 after a life devoted to music, the natural sciences and managing the family firm, Wilson George Meyer & Co., and sister-in-law, Janet Busse Meyer (deceased 2016). A sixth generation Californian and San Francisco native, Harriet inherited a love for the city, an enthusiasm for philanthropy, and a love of life and friends.
She attended San Francisco's Katherine Delmar Burke School, where she collected lifelong friends, and Scripps College, where she studied with famed artist Millard Sheets, deepening an interest in the arts she acquired from her parents. In 1949, Harriet married another San Francisco native, Charles Mohun Quarre (deceased 2004) and moved to Bakersfield, CA to pursue his career in the cattle business. There she raised four children (Catherine, Wilson, Simone and Marianne) and lived a life filled with volunteerism and adventure. She participated in founding Bakersfield's Junior League and Melrose School and led the children of Stockdale in horseback adventures, river floating and skiing trips to Yosemite.
Returning to San Francisco in 1974, she took up her father's passionate support of the San Francisco Opera, serving on the Opera Board for over three decades, chairing the Spring Opera program, founding the Medallion Society, and bringing an enthusiasm and charm that made her, according to the Nob Hill Gazette, "probably the only person able to convince Placido Domingo to ride a horse in a parade." She brought similar enthusiasm and lifelong devotion to the World Affairs Council, International Host Committee, The Hoover Institution, and The Society of California Pioneers. She was also a longtime member of the California Tennis Club, Francisca Club, and San Francisco Junior League.
A cowgirl at heart, Harriet loved horses and even more, her "horse people," joining them in globe-spanning rides with the Cabalgata Riders, trail rides in Woodside with the Shack Riders, and on ranches throughout California with the Los Viajeros Riding Club and Las Estrellas Riders. She won her first equestrian medals as a child at the Menlo Circus Club, where she continued to ride throughout her life. She won her last equestrian medals driving carriage horses last year at age 88.
She was as comfortable and happy in the company of working cowboys and Argentine gauchos as the stars of the opera or San Francisco civic leaders. Harriet's style, intelligence, humor, and graciousness to people of all lifestyles was her hallmark. Harriet's inclusive personality brought many fascinating people together, enriching all who knew her.
Harriet is survived by her four children: Cathy Q. Alexander (Scott), Wilson C. Quarre (Peggy), Simone Marie Quarre (Bruce W. Hyman) and Marianne Q. Dean (George "Jay") as well as six grandchildren: John Alexander (Kristi), Sara Vanis (Mark), Amy Bellomy (John), Thomas Quarre, Charlotte Dean and George "Mac" Dean, five great grandchildren: Mimi Vanis, Scott Alexander, Hayden Alexander, Mark Vanis and Mary Catherine Vanis, two nieces: Betsy Yawn (Jim) and Pamela Ringler (Fritz), three grandnephews: Jeffery McLaughlin (Karen), Nathaniel McLaughlin (Areena), Clifford Jorgensen, one grandniece Carrie Topoian (Nick) and brother-in-law Peter Quarre' (Rita) of Kirkland, WA and their family.
Services are pending
In lieu of flowers, gifts in Harriet Meyer Quarre's memory should be made to:
San Francisco Opera Association
War Memorial Opera House
Attention: Andrew Morgan, Director of Leadership Giving
301 Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 864-3330
NCEFT - National Center for Equine Facilitated Therapy
Attention: Gladys Martines
880 Runnymede Rd.
Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-2271
Published in Bakersfield Californian on Sept. 18, 2016
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