Before there was Oprah, there was our mother, Harriet Crowser. Life to her always centered around relationships with people, friends, family, and co-workers – she enjoyed them all, especially her husband of 62 years, Al Crowser. With her genuine interest in everyone, and her inquisitive mind, she could ask more questions in five minutes than most people think of in one day. She loved to talk and could engage anyone in a lengthy conversation. She was a firm believer in the long Norwegian Goodbye which involved “just one more” cup of coffee, and a lot more talking.
Harriet Ilene (Hanson) Crowser, a resident of Bemidji for over 70 years, passed away peacefully August 9, 2021, at the age of 93 from pancreatic cancer. Born to Harry Hanson and Inga Marie (Johnson) Hanson on April 2, 1928, Harriet was raised in Frazee, Minnesota. After graduating from high school, she attended Concordia College in Moorhead, MN where she was a member of Lambda Delta Sigma Sorority. She graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in English and a minor in Library Science. While attending Concordia, Harriet met Al and they married in September 1949.
Life in Bemidji was full as Harriet spent time participating in the chorus of the Region 6 Sweet Adelines, conducting the choir of the local Jobs Daughters, and leading her daughter’s Girl Scout troupe. For 71 years she was a member of First Lutheran Church where she sang in the choir, taught Sunday School, and participated in several Bible Study classes. Each morning she took great pleasure in listening to “Stump the Dummies” on KB101FM radio. She was so excited to win two times with her unique questions.
She ran the Department of Motor Vehicles Licensing Center for many years. It was there that thousands of Beltrami County citizens met Harriet, and enjoyed the comradery created by her and her team in the DMV. Harriet placed a high value in her friendships and likewise attracted many lifelong and recent friendships including new friends at Birch Haven Village and Tamarack Court.
Harriet loved the Chickadees in her yard and delighted in the Nuthatches at her bird feeder who always walked upside down. She loved making her special potato salad, tending to her flowers in the summer, playing Bridge with friends, baking Norwegian cookies at Christmas, and raising numerous dogs and cats. She once inherited all the newborn kittens of a feral 3-legged cat who deposited them at our doorstep. Undaunted, she placed all those kittens in one day with anyone who came to our home – the milkman, the mailman, the neighbor, and the paper boy.
Harriet was an anchor to her children with a gravitational force that pulled them together as one strong and loved family. She taught her family the value of good manners and courtesy, and that hospitality is no small thing. She grounded their lives with her ceaseless love that spread over 4 children, 10 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren.
She is survived by her four children - David Crowser (Vicki), Jackie Wilkinson (Thomas), Jeffrey Crowser (Jeanne), and Thomas Crowser (Tracie), and grandchildren Shawn Crowser (Carrie), Heather Young (Kyle), Allison Carroll (Bill), Brandon Crowser (Abby), Andrew Crowser, John Fluke, III (Kristen), Jourdan Brigham (Curtis), Taylor McMonigle (Taylor), Sydney Crowser, and JaMae Olson (Tanner).
Her faith was strong and in her final months she looked forward to her Heavenly Home. She admonished her children to find a stronger faith within themselves. Her journey and tasks are now completed. Well done good and faithful servant. Well done.
Services will be held at First Lutheran Church of Bemidji on Friday, August 27, 2021, at 10:30 AM.
Memorials may be made to the Bemidji Community Food Shelf, 1260 Exchange Ave SE, Bemidji, MN 56601 or Tamarack Court, 1511 Delton Ave NW, Bemidji, MN 56601.
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