Harriet Priscilla Huffman was born on September 24th, 1913 in Lehighton, PA, to parents Minard and Edna Miller. She was the second of four siblings. For most of her youth, she lived in the family home in the 100 block of Alum Street, an easy walk to 1st Ward school, and later, to the 3rd Street High School (now the Borough Annex).
Harriet graduated from Lehighton High School in 1932, worked at Wilmer Fashions as a seamstress prior to World War II, but felt the call to duty, along with her brother, Bill, and sister, Miriam, who all enlisted. During her years in the Navy Waves, she received training as a Storekeeper Disbursing Second Class in Milledgeville, Georgia. It was while based on assignment at Norfolk Virginia Naval Air Station that she met Donald Smith Huffman, a native of Earlville, New York, whom she married in May, 1946 at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lehighton, PA.
After the end of the war, when Don received new orders for an extended tour of the Mediterranean, Harriet and Barbara moved back to Lehighton, living with Harriet’s parents. Lehighton would become their permanent home base, building their home on Coal Street, where Harriet would live for the next 64 years.
In her working life, Harriet was employed in the Carbon County Court House, and later as the legal secretary in the law practice of Att’y George Kerestes. Eventually, Harriet opened her own business as a title abstractor, freelancing for a number of area lawyers.
After retirement, Harriet divided her time among house, friends, and her church. When husband, Don, died in Sept 1988, she saw her new mission as taking care of her friends, and Harriet became the de facto chauffer for taking them to their doctor’s appointments.
By the turn of the 21st century anyone who had lived 90 years would be forgiven for sitting back and relaxing a bit. But, when Harriet’s sister, Miriam asked if she could come live with her, Harriet didn’t hesitate. By that time, daughter Barbara and son-in-law Edwin had moved back to Lehighton, in order to support both women, but Harriet remained the care-giver for her “little sister”, until Miriam’s death in 2012.
In 2016, after a fall, Harriet’s need for full-time care required her to become a resident at The Summit Nursing Home in Lehighton. In the fall of 2018, Harriet was transferred to a nursing facility in New Bern, North Carolina, near daughter Barbara’s home. In both institutions, she greatly enjoyed interacting with the nursing staff - - always asking “is there anything I can do for you?”
Harriet is survived by her daughter Barbara, son-in-law Edwin, and twin grandsons, Brian and Michael Dunlap, and their respective families.
Funeral services are being held on Friday, August 30th at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 175 So. 3rd Street, Lehighton. Calling hour: 10:00 am. Funeral service: 11:00 am, followed by interment at the Gnaden Huetten Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Trinity Food Pantry, where Harriet volunteered for many years.
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