Mrs. Harriet Esther Cilley Venable, of Ozark, gently passed away at the age of 103 on Thursday afternoon, February 4, 2021, at her home.
Funeral service will be held in Westview Memorial Cemetery Chapel, Wednesday February 10th. Her life will be celebrated by friends and family at a memorial service at a later date. Holman Funeral Home and Cremations directing.
Mrs. Venable was born June 22, 1917 to James Lenoir Cilley and Anna Lois Seagle Cilley in Hickory, NC. She attended Hickory High School and graduated Lenoir Rhyne College in 1940 with a BA in English and a minor in music. She later studied Library Science at the University of Omaha and Appalachian State University and became head librarian at Staunton Military Academy in Virginia.
She married Peter Beasley Venable on March 20, 1943 and had one daughter, Sarah Harriet Lowell Venable born in 1948. They traveled widely during World War II in Peter’s career as an Air Force officer. Between his postings and their desire to see the world, they visited or lived in Morocco, Europe, Japan, Canada, Mexico and most of the United States. They moved a total of 52 times.
In 1967, at the age of 50, Harriet earned a master’s degree from Florida State University in Information Science and was inducted into Beta Phi Mu, the International Library and Information Studies Honor Society. She was appointed Head Librarian at Abraham Baldwin College in Tifton, Georgia.
In 1969, Harriet and Peter settled in Ozark, Alabama and Harriet became Librarian at Troy State University in Dothan and Fort Rucker.
She is survived by her daughter Sarah Venable who lives in Barbados; a nephew, James Lenoir Cilley his wife Vicki and daughter Nicole; her caring friends Debby Green and Eric and Lindy Bruggink, and her faithful helper, Rosie Matthews. Her graciousness and persistent sense of humor also endeared her to a devoted staff of caretakers who were like family.
She was predeceased by her husband, Peter; two brothers, Robert Samuel and Thomas Lenoir and one sister, Mary.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Heifer International, 1 World Avenue Little Rock, AR 72202; Disabled American Veterans, 221 Williams Dr, Ozark, AL 36360, or a charity of your choice.