VENICE, Fla. — Harriet Agnew Moir — vocalist, pianist, organist and music educator — passed away from complications of COVID-19 on Dec. 18, 2020, in Venice, Fla. She was 96.
Harriet was born March 3, 1924, in Ogden to Dr. T. Lee and Agnes Faris Agnew. She pursued a degree in music from the University of Illinois.
As a performer in productions offered by the McKinley Foundation, she met fellow performer James F. Moir, whom she married in 1944. Jim's Air Corps/Air Force career as a meteorologist took the growing family to Florida, Illinois, Japan, Nebraska, Puerto Rico and Massachusetts. Later, she joined her daughters in the Northern Mariana Islands and Hawaii. She made her final home in Venice, Fla.
All her life, until her retirement from her final church-organist position at age 92, music was Harriet's passion. Throughout her career, she taught piano and voice; served as church soloist, pianist, organist and choir director; performed as soloist and pianist for church and community programs; brought musical and dramatic roles to life in community-theater productions; and provided music education in elementary and secondary schools.
Highlights of her career included performances in Tokyo hospitals for soldiers wounded during the Korean Conflict; creating and performing one-woman shows in communities in eastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod; helping to found Saipan Community Theatre in the Northern Mariana Islands; and furthering the musical training of the next generation. In Venice, she was able to help support this mission through participation in Venice Musicale.
Harriet's creativity also nurtured other interests. Her love of writing was reflected in numerous published articles and columns in local and national publications, her first being a column on "Grade School News" for the Ogden Courier. She was a voracious reader, created beautiful flower and vegetable gardens, and loved exploring the great outdoors, nurturing her extended family, crafting witty puns and celebrating any excuse for a holiday.
A seventh-generation descendant of a Revolutionary War patriot, Harriet was an active participant with the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (Hawaii Loa Chapter), where she served as the Honorary Chair of the Sunshine Committee. She also was an enthusiastic member of the American Guild of Organists (Cape Cod and Islands Chapter), The Order of the Eastern Star (Lei Aloha chapter), the International Music Fraternity Sigma Alpha Iota, the University of Illinois Alumni Association, Lyman Museum (Hawaii), Venice Musicale, the Venice Theatre Guild and the Senior Friendship Center of Venice.
Harriet was preceded in death by her parents; four brothers, Theodore Lee, Allen, Donald and John; and her son, Timothy.
She is deeply missed by her daughters, Melody Actouka of Venice and Barbara Moir of Hawaii; sons, Robert Moir of Pennsylvania and John Moir of Venice; grandchildren, Aria, Airika, Colin and Garrett; great-grandchildren, Richard, Lily, Marley and Kailani; her loving sister, Marion Wagner (Ogden); her sister-in-law, Marilyn Agnew of North Carolina; and many wonderful nieces and nephews.
The family thanks Tidewell Hospice and Farley Funeral Home for their compassionate care. Thoughts may be shared at farleyfuneralhome.com.
Celebrations of Harriet's life will be held at a later date.
Harriet would be honored by donations to the Venice Musicale Scholarship Fund at venicemusicale.org or 2357 S. Tamiami Trail #3, PM Box 179, Venice, FL 34293 or to Lyman Museum, 276 Haili Street, Hilo, HI 96720.