Columns Magazine - The University of Washington Alumni Magazine Columns Magazine UW Alumni Association

Harriet Carroll McCarthy, '52, 1930-2008

Harriet Carroll McCarthy
Harriet Carroll McCarthy
as a stewardess for Pan-Am
in the early 1950s. Photo
courtesy of Thea McCarthy
Riippa.
The UW Alumni Association received the following note on Dec. 10:

I am contacting you to inform you of my mother's death on Nov. 3, 2008. Harriet Ann Carroll, who eventually became Harriet Carroll McCarthy, attended the University of Washington from 1948-1952, and received a degree in art education. She was a member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority. She went on to become a stewardess for Pan Am Airlines, flying Boeing Clippers out of San Francisco throughout the South Pacific. A family member suggested that when I contact you I include testimony as to how she felt about her alma mater and the four years she spent there.

My mother loved the University of Washington in Seattle. She spoke of it, and of the Pac-10, to my brothers and me many times over the course of our lives. To her, the University of Washington was the superlative institution of higher learning, without exception. It was the poster child for academic excellence and extracurricular activities, set in the most beautiful part of the United States. She even stated a few years ago that it was better than Dartmouth College, from which my father graduated!

My parents eventually ended up in Ohio, where I spent a great deal of my childhood. I graduated from Ohio State University in Columbus, and like my mother, would have to say that my four years in college were some of the happiest of my life.

I wanted you to know that the University of Washington just lost one of her strongest champions. This Buckeye daughter of a Husky has spent some time in the last month reflecting on the wonderful things my mother told me, and bowing my head down to Washington in respect more than once. In honor of my mother, who can no longer speak on this earth, I'd like to say for her one last time the words I have heard her utter so often: Heaven help the foes of Washington!

THEA McCARTHY RIIPPA
Maple Grove, Minn.