Harriet Kerr Swenson
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Harriet (Clark) (Kerr) Swenson, a resident of Concord, NH, died on August 23, 2019.
She was educated at Bethany College, Northeastern University, and Andover Newton Theological Seminary.
Harriet married Rev. William I. Kerr, Sr., who died in 1975. While married to Bill, she served many liberal Christian churches, including some in Kentucky, Ohio, Iowa, CT and MA. Her work also included a stint as the Special Collections Librarian at the University of Kentucky, where she interacted with librarians around the world.
While working at St. Paul's Church in Concord, NH she met David E. Swenson. Theirs was a fairy tale romance that was a testament to the power of love at any age. David died in 2003. They lived in Canterbury and Durham. Harriet moved Concord.
A spiritual person, she practiced a liberal and generous life of service in the teachings of the United Church of Christ in the wider community.
As an artist she spoke through eloquent fashion, quilt design, writing, interior design, and all things relating to nature. She was foremost a writer with an innate sense of color and design.
Her lifelong love of animals included taking her children to animal rescue organizations to visit with and sometimes adopt unwanted cats and dogs. One of her last requests was that her cat, Mildred be loved and cared for.
Star Island, part of the Isles of Shoals, held a special place in her heart. She and Bill first brought their children to the UCC family conferences in the late 1960's. The fourth generation continues to have fun and interact with people of all faith backgrounds on this magical island.
Harriet was an inspiration in her tackling of life's challenges head-on, such as when she requested a lighthearted party when she returned home to die.
She studied gerontology and was unafraid to talk about the aging process and how our society overtly and covertly ignores major issues faced by elders.
Her gracious and loving spirit will live within us forever.
Members of her family include her son, William I. Kerr, Jr. of Portsmouth, NH; daughters, Carolyn A. Kerr of Concord, NH and Laurie K. Merrill of Abington, MA; 5 grandchildren, Ian Merrill (Kayla), Steven Merrill (Christina), Kayley Folsom, Leah Donovan (Adam) and Jayne Merrill and 8 great-grandchildren, Lyla, Jacob, Ryan, Owen, Austin, Fiona, Leighton and Dominic.
A memorial service will take place at South Church, 27 Pleasant St. Concord, on Sunday, September 8, 2019 at 2PM.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made in memory of Harriet K. Swenson to the NHSPCA (Andy's Fund) P.O. Box 196, Stratham, NH 03885 (for medical care for animals that could not otherwise be treated), Star Island Corp. (funds to be used for arts and music) 30 Middle Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801. Please include on the memo line "in memory of Harriet K. Swenson - arts and music fund" or to the CRVNA Hospice, 30 Pillsbury St., Concord, NH 03301.
Arrangements are entrusted to the Bennett Funeral Home of Concord. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at https://www.BennettFuneral.com for the Swenson family.
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