December 16, 1931 - January 6, 2018
Harold Russell “Pappy” Piety 86, longtime resident of Carlisle, and recently, of Harrisburg, PA, died on January 6, 2018. Harold was born in Des Arc Arkansas in 1931 to Alice (nee Farrar) and Austin LeGrand Piety. He was the third child, after brothers Lewis and Philip, and was subsequently joined by brother Richard and sister Sandra. The children were separated from their parents because of their mother’s illness and their father’s service in the army in World War II, and so Harold’s earliest years were spent in the Working Woman’s Day Nursery and Children’s Home in Little Rock, Arkansas and then with his father’s sister, Georgie Gay, in Decatur Illinois. After his graduation from Stephen Decatur High School, Harold joined the United States Navy, serving aboard a destroyer out of Norfolk, Virginia, and touring Europe and Cuba. After returning from military service, he attended the University of Illinois, working part-time as a sports writer for newspapers in Champaign and Urbana to put himself through school. He received a B.A. in Rhetoric in 1957 and went on to a career in journalism that spanned more than 20 years, from sports writer, reporter and columnist (writing a column entitled “Humble Pie”), to finally, editorial writer. One of the highlights of Harold’s career occurred during the mid-to-late ‘60s when he reported on the Civil Rights movement for the Metro-East Journal in East St. Louis, Illinois, covering rallies headlined by Rapp Brown, Stokley Carmichael, Dick Gregory, Floyd McKissick and many others. In 1968 he took a one-year hiatus from journalism to serve as the press secretary for Illinois Senator Paul Simon’s campaign for lieutenant governor. His support of Simon’s campaign stemmed from a shared commitment to civil rights. However, Harold’s real love was journalism, so after the campaign ended, he took a position as a feature writer for the Journal Herald in Dayton, Ohio, where he quickly became a member of the editorial board. As an editorial writer for the Journal Herald, he devoted intensive study to the Middle East situation, traveling several times to countries in the region and interviewing leaders of both the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Israeli government, as well as residents of Israeli kibbutzim. For many years he was a sought-after speaker on the subject of the Middle East and his work was cited in numerous publications. Piety took permanent leave of journalism when, in 1977, he went to work for the international public relations firm, Hill and Knowlton, in its Chicago office. There he was assigned to be the account executive for the Pennsylvania Electric Association. Later he was asked to come work for the Association as its director of public relations. Piety worked at the Association until his retirement and remained a resident of Pennsylvania for the rest of his life. While working in East St. Louis, Harold met and married Patricia Chamless of Belleville, Illinois, in January of 1958. The couple had three daughters: Tamara, Marilyn, and Julia. That marriage was dissolved in 1978. After he moved to Pennsylvania, Harold met and married Christine Barrelet, and her two children from her first marriage, Nicolas and Stephanie Barrelet, became his children as well. In late 2015, Harold and Christine moved from their long-time residence in Carlisle, PA to Kindred Place in Harrisburg so that they could be nearer to their children. At Kindred Place Harold quickly became known as the “resident intellectual” and beloved by many residents. Harold was a life-long, passionate Democrat, committed to freedom of the press and to issues of civil rights, women’s rights to control their own bodies, voting, education, and children. He served for many years on his local election board and was a lover of opera and classical music. He read voraciously, usually two books at a time and was a devotee of writers as diverse as H.L. Mencken and P.G. Wodehouse. Although Piety enjoyed a distinguished career in journalism and many intellectual pursuits, his real love was in homemaking and building a family. When his daughters were growing up he made breakfast for them every morning for many years. He did the same for his family in Pennsylvania. Harold baked bread. He made jelly and jam. There was nothing that could not be soothed by one of his culinary efforts like, “Dad’s world famous potato soup” and “Dad’s world famous chocolate chip cookies” and his pies were the highlight of any Thanksgiving, inspiring even his vegan son-in-law to set aside his dietary restrictions for one of Harold’s pecan pies. Harold also became “Pappy” to countless children in the Carlisle schools where he served as a substitute teacher for many years. “Pappy” was his preferred title. It was on his license plate and in his email and he was “Pappy” to any child he met. He was on hand to provide nurturing and guidance to the children of his deceased brother Lewis -- Ann, Tim, Cathy, Philip, and Charles – after their father’s untimely death. He was likewise a loving uncle to Mary Alice, the daughter of his late sister Sandra, and his other nieces and nephews, Carla, Carolyn, Mike, Pam, Chris and John. But most of all, he was Pappy to his beloved grandchildren, Alec, Kirsten and Andrew and, recently, great grandchild Gabriel. Harold is survived by his beloved wife Christine and children, Nicolas and his wife Lisa, Stephanie and her partner Staci, his beloved daughters, Tamara, Marilyn and her husband Brian and Julia and her husband Phill, grandchildren Alec and wife Miriam, Kirsten and Andrew, and great-grandson Gabriel. His brother Richard Piety, half-sister Bobbie Piety and his first wife Patricia Piety also survive him. He will be greatly missed by all. A celebration of his life will be held at Kindred Place, 4700 Oakhurst Blvd., Harrisburg, PA., in the Activity Room on the 2nd floor, from 3:30-5:30 Friday, January 12, 2018. In lieu of flowers relatives and friends are asked to consider a donation in his name to one of the many causes Harold sponsored during his life including, but not limited to, Planned Parenthood, The Nation, the ACLU, Mother Jones, the ASPCA, and the NAACP. Musselman Funeral Home Is Honored To Serve the Piety Family.
Harold Russell “Pappy” Piety 86, longtime resident of Carlisle, and recently, of Harrisburg, PA, died on January 6, 2018. Harold was born in Des Arc Arkansas in 1931 to Alice (nee Farrar) and Austin LeGrand Piety. He was the third... View Obituary & Service Information
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