Dr. Harriette F. Williams, a notable Los Angeles educator and community leader, passed away at her home on July 28. She was 88-years-old.
A self-described “happy volunteer,” Harriette was acclaimed for her distinguished 40-year career at LAUSD, her dedicated service in numerous civic organizations, and unwavering faith as illustrated by her six-decade membership at Trinity Baptist Church.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 1, at 11 a.m., at Trinity Baptist, 2040 West Jefferson Blvd., in Los Angeles. Prior to the celebration of Harriette’s life, the Links, Inc. will present a honor service at 9:30 a.m., followed by the Delta Omega-Omega Service at 10 a.m.
Harriette was born in Los Angeles on July 18, 1930 to Orlando and Virginia (Carter) Flowers. Following graduation from Los Angeles High School, she enrolled at UCLA where she received a Bachelor’s degree in 1952. She later earned a Master’s degree from CSU – Los Angeles and a Doctorate degree from UCLA.
During her long LAUSD career, Harriette worked as a teacher, counselor, assistant principal, principal, director of instruction and administrator of operations. After retiring in 1992, she chaired the Los Angeles County Commission for Children and Families as well as served as a field services representative for various regions of the Association of California School Administrators.
Harriette also remained active as a UCLA Alumni Association life member. She served as the vice president and board member and became the first African American elected president of the UCLA Gold Shield Alumnae.
In the area of community service, Harriette volunteered and held leadership positions in a range of organizations such as Delta Sigma Theta, Links, NAACP, the National Council of Negro Women, Lullaby Guild of Children’s Home Society, the Urban League of Los Angeles, Wilfandel Club and the Blair Hills Association.
At Trinity Baptist, Harriette co-sponsored the Stained-Glass Windows Campaign in the 1980s, chaired the Scholarship Committee and donated substantial personal funds to install the air conditioning system.
Harriette’s children remember her as “a wife and mother who was well-known for her generosity, her fortitude and her leadership. She was a woman of character and a person of integrity… a high achiever and a perfectionist… compassionate, caring, and kind. The words ‘Happy Volunteer’ appeared on her business cards and perfectly captured her outlook and life mission.”
Her husband recalled Harriette as “My partner for life, my best friend, my everything. More than anything else, she taught me how to love.”
Cherishing her memory are her husband, Irvin F. Williams, a retired educator; children, Lorin and Lori; son-in-law, Matthew Arnold; sister, Patricia Cureton; and a host of relatives and friends.