Harriet Mays

Published 2:34 pm Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Harriet Ruth Mays, 90, a longtime resident of the Hillsboro, Ore., community, died peacefully at home on Aug. 12, 2019, which was also her 69th wedding anniversary, surrounded by the love of family and friends.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Saturday, Aug. 24, at 2:30 p.m. at the Tualatin Plains Presbyterian Church (Old Scotch Church), 30685 N. W. Scotch Church Road in Hillsboro, with Lay Pastor Chris Macfarlane, and Pastor Tracie Bullis, co-officiating. Family and friends are requested to wear bright colors in honor of Harriet’s love for beauty in nature and all things and are invited to attend a reception immediately following the church ceremony, to be held in the fellowship room in the basement of the church. Concluding Rites and Interment will be private in the church cemetery.

Mays was born Sept. 3, 1928, in Holcomb, Kan., the daughter of the late Harley and Bessie Martin (Messerschmitt). She was raised and received her early education in Coolidge, Kan. At 13, her family relocated to Yamhill, Ore., where she completed high school, graduating in the Class of 1946 of Yamhill High School. She was determined to continue her education and was able to put herself through college at Linfield in McMinnville, Ore., working multiple jobs, and with the support of several faculty who saw her potential. She graduated in 1950 with a Bachelor of Science in education, and a minor in home economics.

She was united in marriage to Elmer C. Mays on Aug. 12, 1950, in McMinnville. They began their married life in Portland, Ore., but two weeks after their wedding, Elmer was called into active duty and stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Harriet completed one year of teaching at The Parkrose Junior High School before joining Elmer in Hawaii, until his active duty was completed. They subsequently resided in a number of communities in Oregon (North Plains, Oregon City, St. Helens, Clatskanie, Lebanon); Washington (Seattle); and Louisiana (Bogalusa), as a result of Elmer’s work. Upon retirement, Elmer and Harriet returned to the Hillsboro area, where they have resided for the last 36 years.

Her life exemplified her strong faith, commitment to her family and friends, and ready willingness to help others. Harriet and Elmer found a church home in each community in which they lived. Most recently, she was a long-time active member of the Tualatin Plains Presbyterian Church in Hillsboro, including as an ordained deacon, choir member, and gardener, and always had a welcoming word and smile for newcomers and guests. She was also an active member of P.E.O. Chapters T (Clatskanie), DA (Lebanon), AS (Covington), BH (Hillsboro), a philanthropic, educational organization where women celebrate, educate, and motivate women to achieve their highest aspirations.

Harriet was preceded in death by her parents, Harley and Bessie; her sisters, Helen Hesse, Ruby Giddings, and Hazel Schmoe; and her brother, Jim Martin.

Survivors include her husband, Elmer Mays of Hillsboro; her sons and daughters-in-law, Wayne and Carolyn (Kramer), and Warren and Valerie (Poche); her daughter and son-in-law, Ruth and Gordon Thomas; her sister and brother-in-law, Evelyn and Irvin Teegarden; and her sister-in-law, Gladys Martin. Also surviving are her grandchildren, Jesse Mays (Kathy Le), Martin Mays (Holly), Miles Thomas, and Josh Poche; many nieces and nephews; and Cristina Seleme (Requejo), our beloved exchange student from Argentina.

The family suggests that remembrances in lieu of flowers may be contributions in her memory to the Tualatin Plains Presbyterian Church, or The P.E.O. Oregon State Chapter Charitable Trust (c/o Carol Hungerford, Treasurer, Oregon State Chapter P.E.O., 699 McNary Estates Drive N., Keizer, OR 97303.

To sign the guestbook or to send a condolence to the family visit online at www.tualatinvalleyfa.com. Tualatin Valley Funeral Alternatives in Hillsboro is entrusted with the arrangements.