Harriet Rae Koury
1913 - 2010, Santa Barbara
Harriet Koury gently passed away at age 97 on June 19, 2010, at her home with her daughters and caregiver Rose Andongo at her bedside. Harriet was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 3, 1913. She attended the University of Wisconsin and became a reference librarian at the Milwaukee Public Library. In 1942, she married tennis professional Michael Koury and moved to Santa Barbara. Beginning in 1946, she ran Koury’s Tennis Shop that remained in business for 48 years. Harriet became one of the earliest and most successful independent businesswomen in Santa Barbara.
In 1949, she gave birth to her daughter Katherine Koury and in 1952, daughter Michele Koury was born. Harriet was a lovingly devoted, proud and fair-minded mother who always supported her daughters with wisdom and encouragement.
Her passion for travel and keen interest in the world around her were deeply ingrained, and after her divorce in 1965, Harriet visited more than 30 countries. In 1966, she went to Germany to pick up her cherished 1966 sand beige Porsche 912 in which she toured Europe with her daughters and drove all her life. Not surprisingly, in the mid 1970s, she joined the first two visitor groups from Santa Barbara allowed to enter China and Russia, and she soon after visited Cuba. Harriet was an active participant in local and national politics, and as a liberal Democrat, she was a member of the ACLU, League of Women Voters, and Gray Panthers. Harriet also was supportive of a number of socially progressive nonprofits in the community.
When Harriet retired at age 67, employee and friend Barbara Nimmo with Shelley Koury continued to run Koury’s Tennis Shop. At that time, Harriet became an avid tennis player and pursued the game into her 80s. At La Cumbre Country Club, she was captain of her tennis team and was loved for inspiring and encouraging others. Always social and determined to stay physically active, Harriet enjoyed bridge and water walking into her mid 90s. Above all, she loved her family and friends, her home and Santa Barbara. Often asked about her secret for a good long life; she answered without hesitation—family, friends, reading, and water walking. Harriet, we miss you, and we love you devotedly.
Contributions in her memory may be made to:
Children's Creative Project
3970 La Colina Rd. #9,
Santa Barbara, CA 93110
Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care
222 East Canon Perdido, Santa Barbara, CA 93101