Harriett VanNortwick, “Hattie,” passed away at home on Sunday, July 21, 2019. She was surrounded by family and the memories of 90 years well-lived.
Born, Harriett Elizabeth Coburn, Hattie spent her youth in Robersonville, North Carolina “puttin’-in” tobacco and being whistled at by that handsome boy working at the “fillin’ station,” her future husband, Davis. She graduated from Robersonville High School and Atlantic Christian College. On November 21, 1948, Harriett married her sweetheart, Davis M. VanNortwick.
In 1953, this country girl from North Carolina boarded a plane alone and flew cross country to the territory of Alaska to join her husband who was serving the U.S. Army in Fairbanks. Here she began her life as a military spouse and quickly learned that her high heels were not practical in the snow.
As a military wife, Harriett embodied the ethic, “service before self.” Everywhere she went, she made home, and she never met a stranger. She was enormously proud of her husband’s service to his country and together they passed their desire to serve on to their children.
She traveled the world with her family as a homemaker, community volunteer, and tourist: North Carolina, Alaska, Oklahoma, Texas, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Arizona, Kwajalein Marshall Islands, Japan, Central America, and Europe.
Harriett is survived by her three children and their spouses:
Eric D. VanNortwick, USN Ret, and wife, Debbie; Elaine VanNortwick Snyder and husband, Karl, USN, Ret; Amy VanNortwick Arwood, USAF Ret and husband, Sam, USAF Ret.
She is also survived by her loving sister, Carolyn and her husband, Glenn Whitehurst; seven grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and numerous adoring cousins, nieces, nephews, and an infinite number of life long friends around the world.
Harriett was preceded in death by her husband in 2008. They laughed together for 60 years. Today they are dancing together again.
A memorial service will be held this Friday, July 26 at 2 pm at Camino del Sol Funeral Chapel, 13738 W. Camino del Sol, Sun City West, AZ 85375. www.caminodelsol.com
An internment service will be held at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date when she will be laid to rest with her husband.
Please consider donations in Harriett’s memory to the Grandview Terrace Employee Appreciation Fund at 14515 W. Granite Valley Dr. Sun City West AZ 85375.
Grandview Terrace Employee Appreciation Fund
14515 W. Granite Valley Dr., Sun City West, AZ AZ 85375