On March 4, 2015, Harriet Black RN died peacefully in Toronto. She was preparing to celebrate her 98th birthday.
A memorial service was held on March 28, 2015 at St Clement’s Anglican Church, Toronto. Interment of her ashes will take place on June 30, 2015 at 11 am at West Korah Cemetery, Sault Ste. Marie. Reception to follow at Christ Church Anglican Church, 585 Allen’s Side Road.
Harriet was a devoted wife and mother, committed community activist, and fervent believer. Born Harriet Peterson into a family of six children in Bruce Mines, she spent most of her adult life in Sault Ste. Marie and Toronto. She married Dr. Thomas Black, an Obstetrician and Gynecologist, in 1941, shortly after finishing nursing school at Toronto General Hospital. Together they moved to Sault Ste. Marie and raised four children. During that time she developed a Victorian Order of Nurses chapter, chaired the Kiwanis Music Festival, and held leadership roles in church and many community service organizations. She subsequently became a leader in higher education as the first woman member of the Board of Governors of Cambrian Community College and of the Ontario Council of Regents. She also was co-founder of the Algoma Fall Festival and its first president. In 1985 Harriet was invested into the Order of Canada. She received Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals for her community work as well as many awards from the cities and institutions she supported. Harriet was a dynamic presence wherever she went. She was always ready to listen to others and delighted in their well-being. She had a deep religious faith demonstrating that “faith, hope, and love abide, but the greatest of these is love.” She cared for her husband and children with all her heart. After Tom died and her children had all relocated, she moved to Toronto to be closer to family. In her 30 years there she found a new community around St. Clement’s Anglican Church and became active in the ICEJ. She spent her final years at the Salvation Army’s Meighen Manor in Toronto where she received compassionate and expert care.
Harriet is the last of a Peterson generation that included sisters Vera, Evelyn, and Ella and brothers Wilbur, Chuck, and Harold. She is survived by her four children—Dr. Peter Black (Katharine), Dr. Sandra Black (Jeff), Dr. Susan Black, and Patricia Trevor (Brian)–fourteen grandchildren scattered from Mexico to China, and ten great grandchildren. She is remembered lovingly by family and by many friends and supporters.
Contributions would be welcomed by: The Dr. Thomas and Harriet Black TIA Unit, Sunnybrook.ca/foundation Christ Church Anglican Church, SSMarie (The Rector’s Discretionary Fund) The Salvation Army (Meighen Retirement Home)