A descendant of a Washington state pioneer family, passed away March 20, 2012 at the Life Care Center of Ritzville.
She was born in Odessa on October 27, 1923, to Harry and Esther Smith (Schmidt).
She grew up on the family wheat farm near Batum.
She attended a one-room schoolhouse and graduated from Odessa High School.
She married Donald R. Keison on November 16, 1942.
Before Don was shipped to the Pacific corridor during World War II, Harriet followed him to Richmond, VA, where she worked in a torpedo factory.
During the war, Harriet came back to Ritzville and worked until Don’s return in December, 1945.
They settled in Ritzville after the war and raised their three daughters there until moving to Othello in 1958.
She was employed by the Adams County Extension office for six years in Othello and Ritzville.
She was also an active 4H leader for many years.
In 1967, they moved to Spokane where she was employed by Safeway in the Personnel Department for 18 years before her retirement in 1986.
During her retirement, she was very involved in researching and documenting the genealogy of her and Don’s families.
She was an active member in the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia where she held various positions.
Harriet created an extensive collection of genealogy, consisting of research, documents, maps, and pictures of the family ancestry, which the family will treasure in the years to come.
After Don passed away in 2004, she moved to Orchard Crest Retirement Center in Spokane and lived there until early 2012, when she moved to the Life Care Center of Ritzville.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Don, her husband, and sister, Ethelyn Dormaier.
She is survived by her brother, Edward Smith, Odessa, WA; her daughters Donnette (Howard) Bourne of Post Falls, ID, Nona (Dennis) Thompson of Ritzville, WA, and Margo (Greg) Shelman, of Spokane, WA; seven grandsons and one granddaughter; five great-granddaughters, and one great-great-granddaughter.
Visitation will be held from 9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon, Saturday, March 24, 2012 at DANEKAS FUNERAL HOME-RITZVILLE ; Interment will follow at 1:00 PM at Ritzville Memorial Cemetery and will be followed by Memorial Services back at the funeral home at 2:00 PM.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider making a donation to the Big Bend Chapter of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, c/o Thelma Sprenger, 202 W. 2nd Ave, Ritzville, WA 99169.