Harriett Thompson McAllister Loving, 92, of Richmond, Va., died June 13, 2019. A gifted teacher who was both demanding and compassionate, she loved putting her wide breadth of knowledge to work helping young people get a solid start in life, as well as using the money she earned to make sure her own children were able to graduate from college debt-free. Her well-rounded education and memory enabled her to excel at Trivial Pursuit, “Jeopardy” and, even when her memory began failing, “Wheel of Fortune.” She loved Shakespeare (she could recite Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” soliloquy in its entirety), was a whiz at Sudoku and enjoyed bridge, playing at Meadowbrook Country Club and later at Springdale at Lucy Corr.
She loved a bargain and kept careful track of the money she saved by clipping coupons, totaling up her savings each week and, at the end of the year, writing a check to the church for the entire amount. She did not enjoy housekeeping, but did the cooking, cleaning and other tasks well, in addition to carefully managing the family finances. She taught her children to be organized, responsible and hard-working.
She was born at the family home, Rose Dale, in Covington, Va., on July 10, 1926, to Hugh Maffitt McAllister and Lillian Brubeck Kyle McAllister. She grew up as the youngest of seven children at Milton Hall, the home purchased by her father in Callaghan shortly after her birth, and in Covington. At the age of 15, she was valedictorian of the Covington High School Class of 1941.
She attended Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Ga., graduating in 1945 with a double major in math and English and a minor in chemistry. She had worked as a lab technician at Westvaco, a pulp and paper mill in Covington, between her junior and senior years, and began working there full time as a researcher after graduation. At Westvaco, she met fellow employee James M. Loving, “the best-looking man I’d ever seen,” and they married on October 4, 1947.
When the research she enjoyed doing was moved to another Westvaco plant, she became bored doing quality control experiments. She asked for and was immediately given a job teaching math at Covington’s Jeter High School. She taught for several years, becoming known as the math teacher who deducted points for spelling and grammar as well as math errors. When she retired from full-time teaching to start a family, she worked in her home as a math tutor.
In 1956, Jim and Harriett and their 2-year-old daughter moved to Campinas, Brazil, where he managed a Westvaco property. Both of their sons were born in Brazil. She learned to speak Portuguese and loved living and traveling in the country, despite the fact that many modern conveniences were unavailable and she had to cook all the baby (and dog!) food from scratch and make all of the children’s clothing. The family lived in Brazil until 1962, when Jim was transferred to Richmond. They lived in Chesterfield County for more than 50 years.
After substitute teaching in Chesterfield County schools for a time, she started working one-on-one with homebound students, teaching whatever subjects they needed to keep up with their schoolwork, work she did for many years and found deeply satisfying. After retiring, she volunteered as a math tutor in local schools.
A member of Beulah United Methodist Church since 1963, she taught Sunday school and was part of the Circle of Love for many years. She served on the committee that planned the new church sanctuary in the 1980s, and on the scholarship committee.
She was preceded in death by her husband. Survivors include a daughter, Susan J. Loving of Strasburg; sons James F. Loving of Warrenton and William D. Loving (Robert Tabor) of Richmond; and grandson James Michael Chace Loving and his mother Carey of Brewster, Ma.
A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, July 2, at 1 p.m. at Beulah United Methodist Church, 6930 Hopkins Road, North Chesterfield, VA 23234, followed by a reception at the church. Entombment at Dale Memorial Park in Chesterfield was private. Memorial donations may be made to Beulah U.M.C.
- Date & Time: Jul 02, 2019 (1:00 PM - no time)
Venue: Beulah United Methodist Church
Location: 6930 Hopkins Road North Chesterfield, VA 23234
- Charity Name: Beulah United Methodist Church
- Address: 6930 Hopkins Road, North Chesterfield, Va. 23234