First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia ~ Welcome home!

Harriette Behringer Fussell (b. 12/18/25 - d. 11/14/12)

Harriette Behringer Fussell, 86, a 25 year resident of Center City, died peacefully on November 14, 2012 in Medford, Oregon of undetermined causes.

She was the wife of the late Paul Fussell, National Book Award winning author/scholar and emeritus professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania.  Harriette had a life-long career in journalism.  Born in Clarksburg, West Virginia, on December 18, 1925, she was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H. G. Rhawn.  Her father was a newspaper editor and publisher.  She graduated from the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, with a B.S. in Journalism in 1947, and obtained a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Illinois in 1968.

A life long educator and  author of four children’s books she was the editor of the national classroom newspaper, My Weekly Reader.   She also reviewed books for the Chicago Tribune and the Philadelphia Inquirer.  From 1969 to 1983, she worked for Xerox Corporation as the Regional Director of Public/Community Relations.  In 1973, she was awarded a one year sabbatical  to work in a self-selected area of women's rights.  She championed the cause of feminism through public lectures, workshops, and radio talk shows on enabling women in the workplace.  Further, She was the creator and editor of Alert magazine designed to assist women in all areas of job equality.  While living in Philadelphia, she was an active member of Planned Parenthood and the Unitarian Church.  Moving to Philadelphia in 1983, she edited a newsletter for bankers, published by the Community Affairs Department of the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank.   In 1990, she left this position for a two year relocation with her husband to London as part of a Penn study abroad program.

In 1947, she married the late James W. Behringer, of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, and she is survived by her four children:  Cole  Behringer, of Rochester, NY, Rocklin Behringer of Dallas, Texas, Marcy Behringer and Liese Behringer, of Ashland, Oregon. She had 10 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at the First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia on January 20 at 3:30 PM, followed by a reception. In place of flowers, contributions may be made to the Harriette Behringer Fussell Fund, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania, 1144 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

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