Harriet Richards ’92

Harriet Richards ’92 died on June 16, 2018, in Harpswell, Maine.

(The following was published in the Portland Press Herald)

Harriet Holmes Richards, seventy-nine, passed away on June 16, 2018, at home in Harpswell, with her loving family and black lab, “Tug”, by her side.

She was born on August 5, 1938, in Orange, New Jersey, to John Edgar Holmes and Beverly Prince Robbins. She was predeceased by her parents; and her brother; John Edgar Holmes Jr.

Harriet graduated from Norwalk High School (class of 1956), in Norwalk, Connecticut. She received her bachelor’s degree with a major in history and anthropology, and a minor in women’s studies from Bowdoin College, (class of 1992), while working full time as the academic coordinator for Africana studies and Russworm House at Bowdoin College (retiring after 21 years in 2006), raising four children and commuting from Orr’s Island. She adored her collegiate community and was like a surrogate mom to many students over the years, providing comfort, encouragement and an “intellectual force” that always made everyone feel right at home.

Harriet enjoyed many activities and interests during her lifetime. She was passionate about horses and was an equestrian rider and trainer in her youth. Her interests also included skydiving, scuba diving, professional dog breeding, photography, antiquing, and kayaking. Harriet loved to read and always had a book to recommend or a quote to share. She was a passionate gardener and created many masterpieces over the years. She was an outstanding cook and was known for her homemade strawberry rhubarb pies, blueberry muffins, fish chowder and lobster “feeds”.

Harriet devoted her life to her family and her loved ones. It brought her great joy to purchase the perfect gifts, and no matter the distance, she would make sure her gifts arrived, on time and in perfect presentation. She often sent out Jacquie Lawson e-cards that were personal, fun and well received. Her infectious smile and warm spirit always left a lasting impression and will be forever missed.

Harriet is survived by her husband of forty-six years, Donald W. Richards; daughters, Kathleen Valentino, Susan Viets, and Jennifer Howard; and son, Seth Richards. She also leaves behind eight grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and a special niece and nephew.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to Elizabeth “Peggy” Johnson, Jaime Norton, Mid-Coast Hospital, and Chans Hospice Care Program for their outstanding support, compassion, and care for Harriet.

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