Priscilla Chase Howard Harper (PC) flew away with the birds on September 9, 2018 from her home on Bainbridge Island. If you didn’t know PC, you missed knowing someone who lived life with a rambunctious passion.
Born in Los Angeles on January 22, 1942, PC lived briefly in Paris but Philadelphia was home. She was a true life-long learner, first at The Agnes Irwin School outside of Philadelphia, followed by two years in college in Boston, a year in Italy to study art, interior design school in Washington DC, floral design classes, cooking schools in Europe, photography classes at Anderson Ranch, gardening classes, and painting classes too numerous to mention.
After PC’s divorce from Owen Harper in the early sixties, she left New York with her daughter, Hillary, and settled in Aspen, Colorado. PC thrived in the west. She made barnwood furniture, opened and ran a flower shop in the Jerome hotel, and worked with an interior designer on many homes and condos in what was then just a small Western town with a “ski hill” and good place to raise a daughter.
PC met her life partner, Susan Jackson, in Aspen in 1991. They moved to Steamboat Springs, Colorado and PC bought a 35 acre ranch where they lived for 10 years, boarding horses (which they knew nothing about!). Outdoor sports made Steamboat a truly wonderful place. PC and Susan skied, biked, rafted, sledded, fly-fished, and played tennis and golf every chance they could get. But one thing missing in Steamboat was an opportunity for a really great garden. PC and Susan moved to Bainbridge Island sixteen years ago and PC, little by little, created a truly beautiful garden of which she was extremely proud.
Travel was an important element of her life and if PC wasn’t travelling, she was researching and planning and booking and packing. She adored food and cooking. Making a spectacular (and often unusual) dinner allowed her to express her deep love for her family and friends. Wild boar stew was one of her specialties at Thanksgiving!
However it was really painting that consumed PC’s imagination during the last 15 years. She became a very accomplished pastel artist, eagerly taking classes here and in Europe whenever and wherever they were offered. Every trip she made was designed around either painting or looking at painting. Art sincerely fed PC’s soul.
Susan, Hillary, PC’s brothers Bill Howard and Ed Howard, her extended family and all her friends are extremely fortunate to have been left with memories of someone who loved to learn new things, someone who loved exploring her world … and someone who sincerely loved them as much as they loved her. Friends will remember forever PC’s generous hospitality, her irrepressible energy, and the time that she turned the garden hose on a trespassing bear. They will console themselves with the thought that her rowdy laughter continues to echo in the universe.