Harriet Stuart Spencer, 84, died peacefully Dec. 23, 2012, at home in Wayzata, Minn.

She was born Feb. 3, 1928, and raised in Lake Forest, Ill. Harriet attended Miss Porters School, and earned a B.A. from Smith College in 1949.

She married Edson White Spencer in 1950. Harriet and Ed spent 62 memorable years together living in such diverse places as Sioux City, Iowa, Barquisimeto, Venezuela, Tokyo, and finally settling in Long Lake, Minn., in 1964.

Harriet had a long and distinguished civic career in education and the arts. She was a founder, board member and chair of Highcroft Country Day School, and served on the boards of the Blake School, Williams College and the United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.

She was a founder and board member of the Japan-America Society of Minnesota. The Walker Art Center was the beneficiary of her tireless leadership and expert fundraising, 1976-99, when she served as a board member and later board chair.

She spent as much time as possible at the beloved family ranch near Cody, where many of her happiest moments were spent riding, hiking or fishing with family and friends. She was a founder and board member of the Yellowstone Park Foundation, and served on the boards of both the Yellowstone Park Association and the Yellowstone Art Center. She was a member of the President’s Council of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. She served on the board of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, and chaired the Plains Indian Museum Advisory Board.

Harriet and Ed spent many happy winters at their home in Wickenburg, Ariz., where their civic-mindedness continued through their support of the Desert Caballeros Western Museum and other community organizations.

Her spirit, optimism and grace will be sorely missed by all.

Harriet is survived by her brother Robert D. Stuart, sister Margaret Stuart Hart, children Linda (Reid) Murchison, Ed (Val) Spencer, Doug (Kathleen Parrish) Spencer, Jim (Polly) Spencer and grandchildren Sarah (Andy), Clare, Katie, Alison, Teddy, Emily, Julia, James and Michael.

A memorial service will be 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 14, at Wayzata Community Church. There will be a reception at Woodhill Country Club immediately following the service.

Memorial gifts can be made to the United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, 3000 Fifth Street Northwest, New Brighton, Minn., 55112, or the BBHC.

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