Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Harriet's Obituary

Harriet Ellen Fitzpatrick Short
March 30, 1922 - June 11, 2007

Harriet Short passed away on Monday, June 11, 2007 at Eventide Nursing Home, Moorhead, Minnesota. She was 85 years old.

Harriet Ellen Fitzpatrick Short was born on March 30, 1922 in St. Vincent, Minnesota. She graduated from Pembina High School in 1940, then worked for Bell Telephone in Bemidji, MN. She was at her switchboard on December 7, 1941 when it lit up with calls; she soon found out it was due to the news of the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor.

She married Gordon Short in February 1943 at the end of his basic training, and too soon said goodbye as he went overseas for two and a half years. After the war, they made a life in St. Vincent, raised three daughters, and retired to New Mexico in 1987, moving there permanently in 1998.

Although Harriet never had the chance at higher education, she was well-read all her life, and an inveterate letter writer to those she cared for. Throughout her life, her love of the written word and for writing itself was passed on to her children and grandchildren. She shared her passion for homemaking not only with her daughters through her amazing skills as a cook and seamstress, but also professionally as a Homemaker for Kittson County Social Services in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In that capacity, she traveled the county helping individuals learn personal finance, housekeeping, and other much-needed skills in many lower-income, rural areas.

Harriet learned from her parents that faith was important, but that asking questions was not wrong. Her intelligence, curiosity, and energy inspired her daughters to work towards their goals. Her pragmatism and Irish dark humor also tempered their own characters as they faced life's challenges. She always said, as her mother before her, that life could be hard; but on the other hand, there was much to be thankful for.

Harriet was preceded in death by her husband Gordon Short, her parents Albert and Elizabeth Fitzpatrick, and three siblings. She is survived by her three daughters, Sharon Hannaford (Darien, Illinois), Betty Thorsvig (Glyndon, Minnesota), and Trish Lewis (Fargo, North Dakota), seven grandchildren, and ten great grandchildren. There will be no public services; family have decided to hold a private Irish wake. Memories and condolences are warmly welcomed, and may be sent either via email or mailed to: Trish Lewis, 107 1/2 Roberts St N Apt 2, Fargo ND 58102.