Harriet M. Williams, 91, a retired teacher and administrator at schools for deaf and hearing-impaired students in Philadelphia's public and private schools, died of a stroke Thursday, Dec. 9, at Brittany Pointe Estates, Lansdale.
Mrs. Williams, whose maiden name was MacKay, had lived at the retirement community since 1998. Her life was filled with teaching - her passion - for many years, said her son, James Jr.
Mrs. Williams was born and grew up in Cleveland. She graduated from high school there in 1937 and in 1941 graduated from Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio, majoring in food and nutrition.
She interned at Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia and in 1942 became the first dietitian at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, a residential facility in Germantown. Mrs. Williams resigned three years later to start a family.
At the school, she had met and married James M. Williams, a psychologist and principal of the facility's Upper School. The two were married for 51 years. He died in 1994.
When their children reached their teens, the family moved to Glenside, and Mrs. Williams rejoined the School for the Deaf in 1959, teaching science and math to older students. At Temple University, she earned a master's of science in education, and advanced certification in the teaching of speech to the hearing impaired.
Mrs. Williams was appointed principal of the Upper School in 1975, and served until 1979, when she became a hearing specialist in the Philadelphia public schools. She retired in 1993.
Surviving in addition to her son are daughters Susan W. Ball and Linda W. Spillane, both teachers; seven grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 14, at Brittany Pointe Estates, 1001 Valley Forge Rd., Lansdale.
Donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, 700 Horizon Circle, Suite 201, Chalfont, Pa. 18914.