Harriett Wright, 1918-2016


Harriett Wright , 2013 Birmingham Audubon Society Merit Award

Harriett Wright, former president of Birmingham Audubon and editor of Flicker Flashes, has died.

Birmingham Audubon was among many nature and ecology organizations who benefited from Harriett’s many contributions of photography and interpretation of natural history. A visit to Harriett’s home revealed a backyard wood that served as a bird sanctuary for more than 60 years, often including a visit by a Red-shouldered Hawk.

Harriett was a published nature photographer who presented hundreds of programs on birds and wild flowers for garden clubs and civic groups. Earlier this year Harriett donated volumes of slides dating from the late 60s to Birmingham Audubon including species studies, photographs of field trips throughout the state and beyond, and members of the Society. Transfer of the slides to digital format began Tuesday before her death on Thursday.

She was a charter member of the Alabama Ornithological Society and served as president. She was also a member of the Blanche Dean Chapter of the Alabama Wildlife Society and the National Audubon Society.

Harriett Wright was a native of Conway, Arkansas, born January 18, 1918 to Daniel O., Jr. and Hattie Gibbons Harton. She received a BA degree from Hendrix College in Conway and an MA from Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1940 she married Dr. D. O. Wright, who died in 1968. In 1986 she married John Findlay III, who died in 1995.

She is survived by two nephews, Chris Spatz (Thea) and Harton Spatz (Nona Jo) of Conway, AR; three stepchildren, Jack Findlay (Lynne), Oak Forest, IL, Joanne Barfield (Jack), Pekin, IL, and Jane Glaze (John), Madison, WI. Her “Fabulous Five” caretakers brightened her final years.

Harriett was a member of Shades Valley Presbyterian Church. A memorial service will be conducted by Dr. Taylor Todd at Ridout’s Valley Chapel, 1800 Oxmoor Rd, Homewood, AL, at 11 AM Tuesday, Sept. 20. Visitation will be from 10 to 11 AM. Burial will be private at Elmwood Cemetery. Instead of flowers, donations may be made to a nature organization or charity.