LAKE PLACID — Harriet’s heart quit quietly in the dawn’s early light on Sunday, May 16, 2010 at AMC Uihlein-Mercy Center in Lake Placid.
Harriet Sarah Elizabeth Hall was born in West Roxbury, Mass., as the fourth and last child of English immigrants George and Harriet Hall on Oct. 16, 1914.
She was educated at the Boston School of The Practical Arts in clothing. As her parents were ardent soldiers in The Salvation Army, she spent her youthful summers at the family cottage in Old Orchard Beach.
The English Halls were farriers. And so, upon landing on this side of the pond in 1910, George went to work for Boston’s then-horse-drawn MTA. Hence, Harriet’s life-long love for all modes of mechanized travel. Twice she made transatlantic steamer crossings to revisit English relatives. In 1937 she came to Lake Placid as the governess of the children at Proskauer’s camp on the lake. In this Eden, she found her Adam in the persona of Howard Lawrence, whom she quickly married. It stuck, they stayed put, had four children, made a living and life on John Brown Road. Harriet got a Plymouth after the war. She paid for it by caring for children at her homestead. Later she used her retailing skills for Rene Bloch, Brewsters,’ Peck & Peck’s and Shehadi’s. Harriet was active in the Adirondack Community Church, other singing and theater groups, the Garden Club and the town planning committee.
Howard died in 1984 while they were wintering in Florida. Harriet stayed on there and got a yellow convertible. She always had strong faith in God and her own will, and the drive to get things done. Her last air trip was just four years ago. She got back to England, through Europe, to Australia, California, Florida, Colorado, Maine, Wisconsin and maybe Alaska. Forced by age to abandon driving, she abandoned Florida circa 1995 and moved back to Boston to live with her daughter, Susan. In 2006 Harriet needed care full time and so she trekked back to the Adirondack village of her halcyon heyday, to reside at the Uihlein Mercy Center for the duration.
Harriet is survived by all her children and their spouses: Gary and Frietha, Susan and Mathew, Harvey, Anthony and Martina; 11 grandchildren: Kietha, Kathy, Karyl; Sarah, James, Marsha, Paige, Amy; Nicole, Mark and Charles — having given her a total of 18 great-grandchildren so far.
No one ever had to drop a dime or a hat to get Harriet to sing a song. She was about as bashful as a jukebox. Everyone knowing Harriet at the Mercy Center recalls her singing “God Bless America” on just about any occasion. For her positive outlook, her zest for life and her unwavering faith in God, Harriet Hall Lawrence will be fondly remembered and missed by many.
Following cremation there will be a memorial Mass at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 22, at St. Eustace Church in Lake Placid with Father Brock Baker officiating. An interment ceremony at North Elba Cemetery will follow immediately.
Donations in Harriet’s name should be directed to St. Eustace.
Funeral arrangements are in care of the Clark Funeral Home in Lake Placid.