Harriett Shepard, 99, of Lake Suzy, Florida, fondly known as HoneyNun, passed away May 9, 2014.
Harriett and her husband Ben met on a tennis court in Miami and were married in 1934. Upon his death in 2005, they had been together 71 years. They made their home in Hialeah, FL before moving full time to Lake Suzy in 1968. Harriett lived an extraordinary life by any standards.
Born in 1915 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. she was a professional model and dancer before becoming a national recognized photographer and author. Although best known for her innovative fashion photography, Harriett also took pictures for advertising agencies and political campaigns, including that of President Harry Truman. In 1960, she and co-author Lenore Meyers wrote the definitive textbook “Posing for the Camera,” which is still being used today in modeling schools. She was also a frequent speaker at conventions and gatherings for professional photographers.
Although she attended the University of Miami, Harriett was primarily an autodidact. Her amazing intellect and imagination led her to undertake a variety of daunting tasks: designing and building her residences in Key Largo and Lake Suzy; researching and writing a Spanish/English “Fliptionary,” inventing and producing a board game for Latin students; and amassing thousands of books and magazines for an archive of material usually overlooked in academic collections. Harriett was always up for adventure. Her exploits included hunting in the Everglades, searching for treasure off the Florida Keys, cattle ranching on the West Coast of Florida, and teaching generations of children how to drive. Harriett also celebrated her 91st birthday by sky-diving. (She observed her 96th and 98th birthdays the same way.)
She and Ben was generous with their time, talent, and money. Theirs was an old-fashioned philanthropy of pitching in where they saw the need, whether that was building sets for community theater group, donating the land and facilities for the local campus of Florida Southern College (which later became a branch of West Virginia Wesleyan), or covering the college tuition for a friend’s child (asking only that the recipient “pay it Forward” when the opportunity arose). Everyone who knew Harriett will never forget her “HoneyNun stories” will live on, even as her 99 years on this Earth come to an end.
She is survived by her son Dave (Joann) Shepard; five grandchildren, Dallas Shepard, Sheri Rowney, Victoria Rogers, George Spofford and Barry Spofford; 12 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren. Harriett was preceded in death by her husband Ben and daughter Nancy Spofford.
Celebration of Harriett’s life will be held Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at the Grace Presbyterian Church, 10548 SW County Road 769 (Kings Highway) Lake Suzy, FL.