Harriet Vause, mother, sister, volunteer, letter writer, former active community member an avid philanthropist, died November 6, 2012, in San Diego. She was 86. |
The youngest of four children, Harriet was born in Chicago on July 24, 1926. She grew up in a typical Scandinavian-German neighborhood in Chicago before moving with her family to Youngstown, where she later graduated from Boardman High School. Her family also owned property in Burlington, WI, on Browns Lake, which became Harriet's favorite retreat upon her family's relocation there in 1946.
Mrs. Vause graduated from Denison University in Ohio in 1948 before earning her Master's Degree in Foreign Language at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After receiving her Master's degree, Mrs. Vause taught Spanish at Valparaiso University in Indiana.
In Indiana, Mrs. Vause met her future husband, Edwin, on a blind date on Groundhog Day 1951. The couple married June 30, 1951, at her family home on Browns Lake. According to Edwin, he knew they were the perfect match for one another because Harriet "was the only one he dated who would eat the entire meal she ordered!"
Their first home together was in Hammond, IN. Later, they moved to Evansville, IN, where Harriet helped design their dream home. They later relocated to Hinsdale, IL, before moving to Centerville, OH, in 1962. In Centerville, Mrs. Vause raised her five children while volunteering for Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Republican Women's Club and several other organizations. She also tutored students with disabilities and became special friends to several elders of the Centerville area, providing friendship, companionship and transportation The Vauses lived together in Centerville for 27 years before retiring and moving to Rancho Bernardo in 1987.
After retiring, Mrs. Vause continued volunteering, spending time working with the Pomerado Hospital. Late in life, Harriet remained connected to friends and family through conversation, gifting, and photo album preparations. To many a person who Harriet had just met, they became instant friends through the camaraderie of caring for one another. As she enjoyed quotes, one of her favorites comes from the poem, Desiderata: "Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy."
Harriet was preceded in death by her husband, Edwin. She is survived by her daughter, Karen; four sons, Russ (Marguerite), Kurt (Deb), Dirk (Francine) and Luke; and nine grandchildren.
A memorial for Harriet was held in San Diego on January 26, 2013, and her ashes were scattered in San Diego Bay.
Published in the Pomerado News from Mar. 7 to Mar. 14, 2013