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Harriet “Harri” J. Wisser

Harriet “Harri” J. Wisser

July 4, 1920 - July 1, 2018

Harriet “Harri” J. Wisser passed away on July 1, 2018 at Friendship Village in Bloomington, MN. She was born in New York City July 4, 1920. Harri attended Erasmus Hall High School and obtained a BA degree in Marketing from New York University. In February 1943, she enlisted in the US Navy as a WAVE and received her basic training at Hunter College and advanced training at Columbia University Midshipman’s school. She was promoted to be Administrative Assistant to the Commander of the Naval Training School. Her duties included working in the censorship office reviewing letters from sailors abroad to ensure no secrets were revealed. On February 20, 1944 Harri married army officer Nathan “Nat” Wisser. Harri then began her life as an army wife and subsequently mother to four sons. While her husband, Nat, served in Korea, Harri lived with her two oldest sons in Long Island, New York and obtained her MA in Elementary Education from Hofstra University. After Nat returned stateside, the family moved to military postings in Arkansas and Georgia, where her other two sons were born. Nat was assigned to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio after which the family continued their nomadic life with a three year posting in Germany, then a return to Fort Sam. The family then moved to Korea. While there, Harri worked at American Forces Korean Network radio station. In addition to doing administrative duties, she had a radio program giving English language lessons. She developed a large following complete with fan mail. The family’s last military assignment was in Minnesota and the family settled in Bloomington. Throughout Harri’s 26 year tenure as an active duty military wife and mother, Harri shouldered her many responsibilities with wit and vigor. Harri worked as a teacher and A/V director at Bloomington Olson Junior High School, and later at Control Data where she helped establish the investor relations department. Then in her 50’s, she learned all about stocks and corporate quarterly statements. She helped plan the annual shareholder meetings as well. Following her time in the private sector, Harri worked as an aide to legislators at the State Capitol in St. Paul. Somehow, during all these jobs, Harri found the time to start a business called Minnovations, Inc. which produced her invention - a checkbook-sized system for filing coupons. In addition to running this mail-order business from the family home in Bloomington, her sales included 300,000 Coupon-Savers supplied for KIX cereal boxtop promotions. An inventive cook, Harri also experimented with producing sweet potato chips, decades before the idea took hold. Retirement for Harri meant the opportunity to continue her lifelong interest in piano, bridge, tennis and golf. Harri was also an outstanding table tennis player. She put her creative artistic talents to good use as well. Her annual Christmas cards, were not to be missed – the lucky recipients eagerly awaiting seeing what theme she would create each year. In 1991 Harri and Nat, realized a lifelong dream and moved to lakefront property in Prior Lake, Minnesota. In 1993, they acquired a second home in Estero, Florida. For the next twenty years, Harri and Nat enjoyed the idyllic life of cool summers on the lake in Minnesota and Florida sunshine in the winter. Wherever they lived, Harri and Nat were involved with their communities and made many wonderful friends. In 2013, Harri and Nat moved to Friendship Village in Bloomington, Minnesota. After a long and loving marriage of 72 years, Nat preceded Harri in death July 21, 2016. To mourn her passing and celebrate her life, Harri leaves behind her sons Jon (Eva), Jim (Nancy), Glenn and Tim (Mary). Harri is also survived by six grandchildren, Adina, Robin, Landon, Steven, Michael, and Jake and four great grandchildren. A private internment for the family will be conducted at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations preferred to the Alzheimer’s Association. The family would like to extend their thanks and appreciation to the caregivers at Friendship Village and the hospice team from HealthPartners.