She wore a beautiful, radiant smile that could hide all of the toils and many of the strains. Traits born of the vibrant Caymanian blood running boldly through her veins.
A calm, reserved presence that's as reflective as the still of the night. Yet never underestimated, her powerful courage and quick wit, seldom called upon in spite.
As a melodic songbird, Harriette could sing out in such perfect harmony,
her pitch so soft and mellow,
the music would sound so sweet!
Harriette lived life on her own terms, and she lived it fully and completely,
as if dancing to a different drummer, but never, ever missing a beat.
A peaceful wind is blowing,
ushering in feelings uplifted by joy, happiness, and gladness.
A peaceful wind is blowing,
taking away all feelings of pain, sorrow or sadness.
Just as a vibrant songbird stops to share its cheerful songs with the insight of the other,
The gifts shared of Harriette's miraculous life will live on as memories...
They will soar on forever in flight!
Harriette Mercedes Harris was born May 6, 1940, in Tampa, FL. She was the fourth of seven siblings, born to the late James McKinley Bodden, Sr. and Marina Rosalie Bodden.
At the tender age of sixteen, Harriette's mother passed away, leaving custodial care to their dear neighbor, Mrs. Melvina Walker.
As the oldest female, Harriette took on the new responsibilities for herself and those of her siblings seriously. Seldom one to complain, she was often found to be one with an agreeable spirit. Yet, Harriette would not hesitate to correct anyone, in an equally spirited manner, who didn't mean her or her siblings well.
Harriette completed her formal education in Tampa, where she attended St. Peter Claver Catholic School and Middleton Senior High School. She went on to Xavier University, in New Orleans, LA, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Registered Pharmacy.
After college, Harriette returned to Tampa, married to Coach Charles J. White, and as one of Florida's first African-American female Registered Pharmacists. She spent her early career serving the communities of Jackson Heights and West Tampa through Morrison and Eagle Drug Stores. Harriette later advanced in several areas of pharmacy including hospital, retail/management, and industrial pharmacy with such employers as St. Joseph's and Good Samaritan Hospitals, Super X Drug Stores, and National Rx, respectively.
As a devoted wife, mother and grandmother, Harriette served her family effortlessly, in countless ways. She lived life intentionally, always inspired by the love of those around her. She took great care to expose her kids, nieces, nephews, and grandkids to many enjoyable activities. She would not tolerate any perceived exclusions which may have otherwise left those activities off-limits. To Harriette, it was far more important that kids enjoy life, taking part in a variety of enrichment activities, despite the occasionally invisible barriers encountered to do so.
A woman of many talents, and certainly many would attest, that Harriette was both creative and intellectually gifted. She was an excellent homemaker, decorator, cook, sewed at a seamstress level, and had a strong spiritual faith.
Harriette was preceded in death by her parents, loving husband Freddie Harris, brothers James M. Bodden, Jr., Robert M. Bodden, Sr., and Dolon M. Bodden; sisters Betty Jeanette Bodden Gray and Beverly Walker Monroe; niece Elizabeth A. Bodden; nephew James M. Bodden.
Harriette is survived by her two loving daughters: Mrs. Marinette Chavers (Leonard) and Ms. Monica White. Grandchildren: Alexis and Chelsea Chavers, David White, and Great Grandchild: Rahmier Gardner.
Siblings: Joseph W. P. Bodden (Maxine) and Marina B. Pilcher (Ronnie): nieces and nephews: Robert Bodden Jr., Anthony Bodden (Sonya), Teresa Harris (Barry, Sr.), Brian Bodden (Suzette), Kennan Bodden, Marina Bodden, Laverne Ivory (Michael, Sr.), Mark Bodden (Lorena), Elizio Bodden (Yannie), Karen Humpheries, Joseph Bodden Jr. (Becky), Shevawn Spencer (Rufus), Tonia Torres (Michael), Eugene Richardson (Stephanie), Kimberly Richardson, Richard L. Monroe (Nicole), Reginald L. Monroe, Terria A. Young (Robert), Frank O. Gray, Jr., Elder Gailry T. Bagley (Louis Sr), Karen A. Garrett (Leonard), McKinley A. Gray, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and friends.
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