In Memory

Harriet Louise Fullen (Smith) - Class Of 1922

Harriet Louise Fullen (Smith)

Harriet Louise Fullen Smith, died peacefully in her Los Angeles home on March 30, 2007 at age 100 years. The only child of William Martin and Zola Stewart Fullen, she was born in Vincennes, Indiana on September 12, 1906. In 1912, the family moved to southern California, where Harriet Louise attended school in Azusa, Los Angeles and South Pasadena and graduated from South Pasadena High School in 1922. She attended the University of Southern California, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1926, and earned her master's degree also from USC in 1928. Her studies in religious education and teaching led to her appointment as Dean of Student Activities at Compton Junior College from 1930 to 1934.

In 1934, she married Lewis Elden Smith, who became a prominent Los Angeles banker and community leader. Harriet's first attentions were always to her family. Together with her husband, she raised four children in South Pasadena, Riverside and Los Angeles. They were her greatest source of pride. At the same time, she was an energetic leader and volunteer in her community, from the YWCA, to Camp Fire Girls to 4-H Clubs, and the Riverside Community Hospital. She was widowed in 1964 and continued to live in Los Angeles, where she participated in the support groups for the Child Guidance Clinic of Los Angeles, the Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdale Park and Women's Council of KCET. In addition she provided several scholarships for college students at USC and other institutions. She was very active in The Experiment in International Living (now called World Learning), and served on its national board twice, from 1970 to 1980 and from 1987 to 1989. She opened her home for extended stays to many young people from around the world, and took great pleasure in visiting many of them in their own countries. Ping, Jick, and Min Chen, World Learning students from the People's Republic of China, became longtime companions who added much to her life and comfort. Harriet was also a writer, including a book of poetry, "My Shadow Self," published before her marriage. In 1952, she wrote "Your Life as a Citizen," a popular 9th grade social studies textbook. She wrote an unpublished memoir, "The Christmas Chain," in the 1980's. Harriet also published a second book of poetry, "Through My Image," in 1990.

Harriet was a special friend to many people who admired her for her intelligence, wide-ranging interests and calm manner. Her hallmark was her unshakable faith in, and support for others. Harriet is survived by her 4 children, Hannah Smith Kully of San Marino, California, Lewis Fullen Smith of Washington, DC., Deborah Smith of Pondicherry, India and Martin Elder Smith of New York City. She also leaves 9 grandchildren, 8 great grandchildren and her loving caregivers of many years, Myrtle Ritchie and Marjorie Williams. 

Pasadena Star-News, April 5, 2007