Floral 16

Harriet H. Smith

August 29, 1940 ~ November 13, 2021 (age 81)

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Harriet Holmes Smith was born in Mineola, New York. She was the daughter of the late Herman Lee Holmes and Harriet Odessa Key Holmes.  She was known as "Baby Sis" by her family.

Harriet received her early education in segregated schools in Aiken, South Carolina. She graduated from Martha Schofield Senior High School in 1958. She furthered her education by obtaining her Bachelor of Science degree from South Carolina State University and graduated with a master’s degree in Social Work from Temple University in Philadelphia.
She was a veteran of the United States Army having served honorably in the U.S. Army Reserves for 9 years achieving the rank of Major.

Harriet taught at Windhoek College of Education in Windhoek, Namibia, and Camden County College. Harriet valued education and saw it as a great equalizer.
In her professional career, Harriet has worked as a Social Worker, Probation Officer, Professor, and Consultant.  She actively served her community and was an advocate of African American empowerment and social justice.

Harriet was an excellent cook and truly enjoyed entertaining. Harriet traveled extensively. In addition to spending time in numerous countries in Africa, she has visited, China, Cuba, India, Europe, Belize, and Guatemala.

Harriet passed away suddenly on November 13, 2021, at Chester County Hospital in West Chester, PA. Harriet was preceded in death by her parents, and her brother, Edward "Butch" Holmes.

She is survived by her sons, William H. Smith (Amy Lopez) of West Virginia, Shawn Smith (Mollie Frideres-Smith) of Ankeny, Iowa; daughter, Melanie Reneau (Patrick) of Florida; siblings: Rosetta Smith of North Carolina, Herman Holmes of North Carolina, Jeanette Scott of South Carolina, Fannie M. Stokes of North Carolina; 6 grandchildren: Tenley Hutchinson-Smith, Rashid A. Reneau, Malik A. Reneau, Xavier H. Smith, Nick E. Harris, Chris J. Harris and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives, and friends.
Harriet dedicated her life in service to others. She will be deeply missed, and we will cherish her memory in our hearts.

Services will be held at 11:00 AM Saturday, November 20, 2021, at Wright Funeral & Cremation Services, Inc., 725 Merchant Street, Coatesville, PA 19320.  A viewing will be held at 9:00 AM until the service time.

A private cremation will be held according to her expressed wishes.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks charitable contributions be made to the Equal Justice Initiative (eji.org) in her name.  Family and friends may share condolences at the guestbook link on this memorial page.


Ms. Harriet was an awesome leader and thinker. -- Damian Bagley  

She was truly an outstanding human being and an inspiration. -- Susan Thomas

She has touched and changed everyone and everything that came in her path. - kpoles

She supported the students at 1199c as if they were her own. She had an impact on all of our students and changed their life. -- Nancy York

Her travels were normally more impressive!  Ms. Harriet was an infectious personality. -- Kristine Scanlon

 Simply one of the best people I've ever been lucky enough to meet. -- Peter Chomko

I have never met anyone else in my life that could lay out such high expectations with such support and urgency than Ms. Harriet. She always followed through with support. -- Mark Karcz

An incredible and kind woman. -- Betty Boyd

To have known you and have been touched by your specialness. -- Valarie Mack

Such a beautiful soul. -- Tyarah Green

Her goal for you all was to live life and with courage and without regrets. An extraordinary woman of fierce devotion to those who were disenfranchised and mistreated. -- Denice S Price

She always had a funny story to tell and kept everyone laughing. -- Ms. Zanthia B. Hazel

Harriet's quiet strength, incredible sense of humor, and dedication to justice humbled me in the extreme. -- Patrick Ahern

Harriet was a true champion of education for over 25 years at the District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund. She was a mentor, role model, and motivator! --  Cheryl Feldman

Ms. Harriet was my boss, mentor, and role model. She was a strong woman and who taught me how to properly decorate a Christmas tree making sure the branches were fluffed to her liking. --  Antoinette Johnson El

 Harriet was someone with a very strong work ethic, and her generosity (she always brought me a Ladybug item back from her Travels) -- Ms. Lena Smalls, MBA

She was the most beautiful person in our life -- Alex and Vanessa

A loving mother who instilled these qualities in her children and sprinkled these qualities on all those she touched!  -- Maurice Graham

She was a great host.. She confirmed for me; that it is not where you live... it is how you live.... and she lived. -- Amanda Buchanan Winkey 

 Truly a class act who had great respect for all people as well as such dedication to her work.  - Susan B Thomas

What an impact she has made on this world. --  Hank, Gabe, and Jami


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Harriet H. Smith, please visit our floral store.

 Service Program


Walk-Through Viewing
November 20, 2021

9:00 AM to 10:45 AM
Wright Funeral & Cremation Services, Inc.
725 Merchant Street
Coatesville, PA 19320

Funeral Service
November 20, 2021

11:00 AM
Wright Funeral & Cremation Services, Inc.
725 Merchant Street
Coatesville, PA 19320

Private Cremation

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