Harriett Brigham

Obituary of Harriett Brigham

Mrs. Harriett Brigham (nee Hawes) passed away on Friday evening, February 12, 2010, in her beautiful old Victorian home on Fremont Street, the famous one with the three Christmas trees in the windows. She had lived there since 1951, having raised three lovely daughters there with her husband Merle Brigham, the love of her life. A heroine and a legend in the minds of her six adoring grandchildren, Harriett was 88 years old, a fact that failed to deter her from living every precious day of her dynamic, colorful life exactly the way she saw fit. Even in her final hours, Harriett was spotted all about Whitewater, attending to the daily business of a vibrant lady. While she would have been staunchly opposed to the prospect of such a sudden departure from the life and the people that she loved so much, Harriett was a woman of tremendous faith, and she knew in her heart that her husband, parents, brothers and so many others would be waiting to meet her at the next stop. Harriett found something to appreciate and admire in each of the enumerable relatives, friends, and neighbors that filled her life and those feelings were clearly mutual. The honored matriarch of her family, Harriett's presence was always felt, even from afar, as her memory will continue to be. Harriett was born on December 5, 1921 in Whitewater, Wisconsin, to Maurice and Clara (Scheels) Hawes. She grew up on Fremont Street, four houses down from the cherished home where she would gracefully preside over decades of holidays, get-togethers, and the daily affairs of her family. She married Merle Brigham on February 5, 1944 at the First United Methodist Church in Whitewater. Merle preceded her in death on December 4, 1976. Familiar to generations of Whitewater residents, Harriett was active in the First United Methodist Church of Whitewater, an enthusiastic member of Alpha Club, and a long-serving volunteer at the local polls on voting day. Before retiring in 1988, Harriett served for many years as an administrative secretary at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater campus library. Harriett is survived by her daughters, Mary Quinlan, Reedsburg, WI, Kathleen(Peter) Glaser, Jackson, WI, and Debra(Mark) Brigham-Schmuhl, Whitewater, WI; her grandchildren Julie(Jason) Quinlan Brame, Patrick Brigham(Sarah) Quinlan, Nicholas Brigham Schmuhl, Lora Glaser, Andrew Glaser, Melanie Schmuhl; a special niece Jean Brigham, and a number of others who were important to her life. Harriett was preceded in death by her parents, husband Merle, brothers Edmond and Francis Hawes, and son-in-law Richard Quinlan. Funeral Services will be held Tuesday, February 16, 2010, at 1:00pm at the First United Methodist Church, Whitewater, WI with burial in the Hillside Cemetery, located in Whitewater, Wisconsin. Friends may call at the church on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 from 11:00am until the time of the service. As an expression of sympathy, you may wish to consider memorials to First United Methodist Church of Whitewater, the Irving L. Young Library or the Whitewater Federation of Women�s Clubs.
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