Harriet Richardson Ames turned one hundred years old on January 2, 2010.
Twenty days later, she realized a lifelong dream by being awarded a diploma for her bachelor’s degree in education.
She died the very next day, peacefully, with a feeling of accomplishment.
If Harriet were still here, I’m sure she would tell you this: “Don’t ever give up on your dreams!”
NH TEACHER, 100, GETS DEGREE A DAY BEFORE DYING
CONCORD, N.H. – It was Harriet Richardson Ames’ dream to earn her bachelor’s degree in education. She finally reached that milestone, nearly three weeks after achieving another: her 100th birthday.
On Saturday, the day after receiving her diploma at her bedside, the retired schoolteacher died, pleased that she had accomplished her goal, her daughter said. Ames had been in hospice care.
“She had what I call a ‘bucket list,’ and that was the last thing on it,” Marjorie Carpenter said Tuesday.
Ames, who turned 100 on Jan. 2, had earned a two-year teaching certificate in 1931 at Keene Normal School, now Keene State College. She taught in a one-room schoolhouse in South Newbury, and later spent 20 years as a teaching principal at Memorial School in Pittsfield, where she taught first-graders.
Through the years, she had taken classes at the University of New Hampshire, Plymouth Teachers College and Keene State to earn credits for her degree. With her eyesight failing, she stopped after retiring in 1971 and was never sure if she had enough credits.
Her wish for a degree became known when a Keene State film professor interviewed her a couple of years ago for a piece on the college’s own centennial, which the school celebrated last year.
The school decided to research her coursework and see if it could award Ames her long-sought diploma. The offices of the provost, registrar and other departments worked quickly in the last month to determine, that indeed, it could.
“She wanted to be the best that she could be,” said Norma Walker, coordinator of the Keene State College Golden Circle Society, an alumni group for classes that graduated 50 or more years ago.
Walker said when she mentioned to Ames during a recent visit that the college was working on the degree, Ames started to cry and said, “‘If I die tomorrow, I’ll know I’ll die happy, because my degree’s in the works.'”
College officials, including Walker, drove the document to Ames’ bedside on Friday.
Walker, who first met Ames in 1997 at an alumni gathering, said she enjoyed listening to her talk about her students and how she encouraged them to read.
“She’s the kind of person that every parent would want their first-graders to have as a teacher,” very loving and caring, Walker said. She will read Ames’ diploma at a memorial service this Saturday, “if I can do it without crying.”
Paula Finnegan Dickinson of Gilford, who was Ames’ student back in 1956 and became an educator herself, regarded her as a mentor and dear friend.
“Mrs. Ames, along with Dick, Jane, Sally, Spot and Puff, became our friend,” Dickinson said, recalling the “Dick and Jane” series that was used in class reading groups. “With her enthusiasm, these characters came to life. … Mrs. Ames showed us how reading opened the doors to other experiences we in Pittsfield might never have known.”
ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA
If you feel more stressed than blessed . . . if you have more confusion than clarity about how to live your beliefs . . . if you long to live a richer, happier, more meaningful life . . . you will find a wealth of insight and guidance in Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World.
Through God’s Eyes is a road map for living a more peaceful, beautiful life. It’s the only book that explains how dozens of spiritual principles interact, how to weave them together into a cohesive worldview, and how to practically apply this spiritual wisdom to daily life.
Readers everywhere are discovering that when you challenge yourself to look through God’s eyes, the world around you changes, and so do you.
Who will benefit from reading Through God’s Eyes?
Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to be.
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to.
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier.
Click here to visit the Through God’s Eyes website.
Click on the link below to download a FREE 28-page chapter!
SEE EVERY MOMENT AS A GIFT
Click here to read endorsements from authors and thought leaders.
Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers.
Click here to ask Phil to add you to his e-mail list for updates on his blog and books.
Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.
• an overview of the book
• the complete table of contents
• the Foreword by Caroline Myss
• my Introduction
• chapter excerpts
• a sample end-of-chapter story
• endorsements from authors and thought leaders
Just click on the link below to download your free PDF sampler!
THROUGH GOD’S EYES PDF SAMPLER
Schedule a Mastery Mentoring phone session with Phil to learn how to apply principles of spiritual living more effortlessly and effectively. Priced affordably! Click here to e-mail Phil for details.
Phil’s eBook, The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life: Supporting a Life of Faith Through Logic and Reason, is now available for 99 cents.
Order it at GodIsLogical.com.
In this eBook, you’ll find answers to questions like:
• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
• What is the secret to liberating yourself from other people’s judgments and expectations?
• How do you reconcile the “free will vs. Divine Will” conundrum?
• Why is there an exception to “Everything happens for a reason”?
Those who worship logic instead of God are only half right. Not only is it logical to believe in God and to live a faith-based life, the existence of a loving, benevolent God that governs all creation is perhaps the only systematic worldview that explains every aspect of life.
Phil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent authors and thought leaders he interviewed. The roster of storytellers includes Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Neale Donald Walsch, Caroline Myss, Larry Dossey, Rachel Naomi Remen, Bernie Siegel, Dean Ornish, and Christiane Northrup. Sixty Seconds has been translated into four languages: Italian, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories.
Click here to order Sixty Seconds.
Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.
Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers.
Here is a three-minute video introduction to Sixty Seconds.