|MEMORIES OF BETTY LOUISE (HARTT) HOWELL
by Tamara Seaman - granddaughter
BETTY LOUISE (HARTT) HOWELL, who passed on September 21, 1987.
I owe any of my knowledge of the Hartt family to my wonderful Grandmother whose name was Betty Louise Howell (Hartt). She passed on September 21, 1987, just two weeks before the birth of our first daughter, Shauna.
Many of my childhood years were spent growing up with my dear grandmother. In the cool of the evenings, my grandmother would share with me stories of the Hartt family. She told me of a grandfather that came from Canada who was involved with a shoe company, little did I know until many years later, that this was the famous Canadian Hartt Boot and Shoe Company! My grandmother never met her grandfather as he died while shoveling snow in Fort Wayne, Indiana just one year before she was born.
I would love to hear about her childhood days, and begged her to tell me the stories over and over. Her mother and father (Harry and Virginia Hartt) lived on Jefferson Street in Huntington, Indiana. My grandmother and her sister, Geraldine would play on the porch and chase the neighbors' chickens. She was very close to her sister and they continued to be close right up until the day that my grandmother died.
I remember my grandmother as being one of the kindest people that I have ever met. She would sacrifice her own comfort if it meant doing something special for someone else. I remember thinking how I wanted to be like her when I grew up as she must have been what "a real adult should act like".
She was also a lot of fun! I remember when I was only a few years old sitting out on her porch and having her cut out paper dolls and circus animals. She would love to spend time with me on that old family porch on Tipton Street in Huntington, Indiana.
My grandmother loved to go to the lakes on the weekends. Our family owned a small vacation house at Lake Tippecanoe. My grandfather had bought an old pontoon boat that we use to go out on during the day. We use to take our boat over to visit my Aunt Jerry (Geraldine) as they lived on Little Tippecanoe Lake, across from the Tippi Dance Hall, a popular gathering place for young people back in the 50's and 60's.
Oh how my grandmother could cook! Every Sunday was a big family day around my grandmother's house! She would spend hours in preparation. Her fried chicken could not be topped! I still to this day, no matter how hard I try, cannot make it taste as good as hers! On Saturday, she would roll out the noodles. She would playfully scold me as I would sneak under the table and tear a bit of the noodles off while they were drying. In the summer, she would specialize in her peach dumplings. She always liked cooking what she knew others liked. She knew my likes and dislikes! One of my favorite things she cooked was "Canadian Bacon". I guess Canada runs in our blood.
Not only was my grandmother an excellent mother and grandmother, but she was a fine businesswoman and civic leader as well! She was a top Avon representative for close to 36 years. I used to help her bag her orders and go out with her to deliver. She had many customers. Everyone loved her and looked forward to her visit each week. In her Avon career she achieved many awards. One of the highlights of her time with Avon is the time she won a trip to Monaco. It was her first time out of the country. I remember taking her to the airport. How I missed her for those ten days! While in Monaco, she had the privilege of having dinner with Princess Grace. All of the guests at the dinner received a beautiful scarf that Princess Grace designed for the event. It was very special to her. I remember that she was very sad when Princess Grace was killed shortly after that, in an automobile accident.
My grandmother was a member of the Altrusa Club. This is a club that allows only one in each category from a stated career into the club at a time. She was a member until her passing in 1987. She was also a "Circle Leader" for several years in her church.
As I share these words, I remember my dear grandmother fondly. She was truly a special woman and friend to me. The zeal that she had for life has helped me to establish my life as a wife and mother. Though I am sad that she is no longer here with us, I have come to realize that there is no better thing that I could do as to share with other relatives of what I know about our family. This keeps the memories alive, and I think that this is what my dear grandmother would have liked to have happen.
So as I follow the history of the Hartts, I dedicate it to Betty L. Hartt, loving mother, dear grandmother and precious great grandmother to the child that she never got to meet. She was truly the Hartt with a big loving heart! All of our family dearly misses her and honors her for being the person that she was.|