Harriette Jean (Proffitt) Fitzell age 93 passed away at her daughter’s home in Leawood, KS on July 20. She was born December 23, 1921 in Kansas City, Kansas to Robert Darr & Nettie Corrine Proffitt. She graduated from Wyandotte High School in 1939. The new and notable high school designed by the prominent Chicago firm of Hamilton, Fellows and Nedved was completed in 1937 and is now on the Register of Historic Buildings. During high school she won fourth place in a national essay contest for the American Magazine on “New Frontiers for American Youth.”
Following graduation she worked at Commerce Bank in downtown Kansas City, MO. During the war she worked in the office at the Sunflower Ordinance Works and lived in Lawrence, KS. She met Peter Fitzell when he was hitchhiking back to Fort Riley, KS. They corresponded by letter. When he was discharged due to his age (33) they decided to get married.
Harriette married Peter Fitzell on June 7, 1943 in New Orleans with her sister Wilma Weibel as a witness. Peter got a job in Pascagoula, MS in the shipyards as an electrician. Peter was redrafted and Harriette worked in an office in Jacksonville, FL until he was sent to the Pacific. While he was away she worked in Kansas City and later Chicago. When Peter was discharged they were in Oak Park, IL for a while before returning to Kansas City where Peter was hired as an operating engineer for Owens Corning Fiberglass in Kansas City, Kansas in 1947. Harriette worked for Commerce Bank.
After conscientious saving, in 1947 Peter and Harriette traveled to Ireland via New York on a TWA Constellation to meet his family. On the return trip they saw London and Niagara Falls. Harriette became a homemaker when daughter Julie was born in July of 1949 and daughter Corrine was born in December of 1950. They bought a house in Kansas City, KS in 1954 where the girls grew up with the family dogs. Both daughters were married in 1974; Corrine to Dr. Eric Soder and Julie to Paul Jorgensen.
Peter retired in 1975 and they moved to Yucaipa, CA where Harriette’s aunt lived. They enjoyed the southern California weather and exploring the west. At this time daughter Corrine and husband Eric Soder were in San Francisco. In 1979 the Soders relocated to Roseburg, OR. Peter & Harriette visited many times including for the birth of grandchildren Brandon in 1980, Brent in 1982, Colin in 1985, Peter in 1988 and Molly in 1991. When the Soders moved the Kansas City area in 1991 and to Wichita in 1992 they were able to visit both daughters easily.
After husband Peter broke his hip in 1997 Harriette cared for Pete, they stayed closer to home, and received more visitors. After Peter died in 2005 Harriette spent a month with daughter Julie and husband Paul in Leawood, but did not travel again until she relocated permanently to Leawood in 2014. She was comfortable and cared for in her last months and saw much of her family especially here grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was able to see great granddaughter Audrey in the hospital as a new born and get to know her in her first months of life.
Harriette is survived by her daughter Julie and husband Paul Jorgensen of Leawood; son-in-law Dr. Eric Soder of Roseburg, OR; grandson Brandon Soder of Roseburg, OR; grandson Dr. Brent Soder and wife Lauren & great granddaughters Addison and Emmerson of Chattanooga, TN; grandson Colin and wife Dr. Rupal Soder & great granddaughter Audrey of Prairie Village, KS; grandson Peter Soder of Atlanta, GA; granddaughter Molly Soder of Roseburg, OR; and sister Lorraine and husband Russell Goodrich of Mesa, AZ. Please offer condolences at www.overlandparkchapel.com.
Harriette was preceded in death by husband Peter, daughter Mary Corrine Soder, brothers Marion & Allen Proffitt and sister Wilma McGregor. A private family service will be held.
She is remembered fondly as a loving grandmother, a good and adventurous cook, a saver, a good correspondent for which she used her typewriter and later her computer, and for her wit.