In Memory

Harriet Arnone

Hattie's obituary

Harriet Curtin Arnone, Ph.D., ‘Hattie’, died peacefully at the age of 74 on February 9, 2021. She lived three and a half years with cancer, remaining buoyant and creative throughout. Her passing was eased by expressions of love from across the globe. Hattie was a daughter, a mother, a wife, and a bonne vivante who did the best possible job of living a human life. 

Born to Peter and Harriet Arnone in New York on December 15, 1946, Hattie is survived by her brothers Peter and Paul, her children Chris, Andrew, her step-children Ariel and Shira, as well as six grand- and step-grandchildren. Hattie was predeceased by her second husband Martin Schuster in 2007.

Hattie graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Middlebury college in 1969. Pregnant with Andrew and already raising Chris, she earned a Ph.D. in psychology from CUNY in 1975. Her career brought her to diverse organizations including the Urban Institute in Washington, DC, The Institute for Middle East Peace & Development, Metro-North Commuter Railroad and the New York Institute of Technology. She traveled the world both personally and professionally, visiting, among many other places, Soviet Russia, Latvia, Western Europe, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Greece, Israel and Palestine, Egypt, Jordan, Dubai and China. She left devotees at every stop. 

Hattie was trailblazing, open-hearted, wise, tireless, and did not suffer fools lightly. These qualities inspired passionate devotion in many—if not always in the aforementioned fools. She was famously intolerant of mischief as perpetrated by her sons and their compatriots, but reversed this position later in life. Hattie refused to correct misbehavior in her grandchildren so Oliver, Max, Amelia, Olivia, Martin and Oriana have only heard the tales of Hattie: legendary disciplinarian. 

Hattie lived life at a higher frequency than most people. She wore a unique, angular hairstyle and had eyes of the most shocking blue. She found fun in the lowest moments, and no one enjoyed the best moments more. ‘Don’t be sad it’s over, be glad it happened’ does not cover the passing of a woman as full of life as Hattie. She was sad to leave us, and we are sad she’s gone. But we can learn from Hattie’s resolute cheerfulness in the face of life’s hardest moments. We can find both happiness and sorrow on the occasion of her passing. We can cherish her memory and miss her terribly, but knowing that Hattie did the best possible job of being Hattie should be a source of strength, pride and peace to us forever.