Harriet Cullison Quandt, a retired teacher and public school volunteer, died of congestive heart failure Oct. 16 at Coastal Hospice at the Lake in Salisbury. The former resident of The Orchards in North Baltimore was 99.
Born in Baltimore and raised on Guilford Avenue, she was the daughter of William Francis Cullison, a Chesapeake Bay pilot, and Ida Delano, a community volunteer.
In a family memoir, Mrs. Quandt recalled her childhood in the Charles Village-Waverly community. In one instance, she wrote, she attended the 1925 silent film “The Phantom of the Opera,” then dared a friend to accompany her, in the dark, through the cemetery of St. John’s Episcopal Church on Old York Road.
She then returned to Guilford Avenue and had another fright. Her grandmother tucked her into bed in a large room with the bay window overlooking the street. Her mother had placed a hat with a wide brim on a wall sidelight. As automobiles drove north along Guilford Avenue, their headlamps shot a light stream into the bay window. The headlights beams touched the hat and then a mirror, creating a moving shadow much like actor Lon Chaney's furtive moves in the movie, she wrote.
“I was terrified, turned to stone and yanked up the covers,” she recounted.
She was vacationing in Ocean City at the Shoreham Hotel with friends when a hurricane struck Aug. 23. 1933.
She recalled that workers at the hotel moved a piano across a doorway as a temporary measure to try to keep the water out. She also remembered watching an uprooted lamppost fly by her window. As the waters rose, she, her mother and her friends piled into a Sunpapers delivery truck and were driven to safety in Berlin, where they spent a night until what was later named the 1933 Chesapeake-Potomac Hurricane passed. They walked back to Ocean City.
Mrs. Quandt was a 1936 graduate of Roland Park Country School and earned a degree in French at Goucher College. In June 1938 she was chosen to lead the senior prom at the Johns Hopkins University, and a year later she toured France and Italy with her schoolmates.
After raising her family, she joined the Baltimore City Department of Education and taught sixth grade at the Abbottston School. She later volunteered to help in the library and to read to children at Barclay Elementary School.
“My mother was a lifelong learner and enjoyed being a member of the Johns Hopkins French Club and an Italian Club associated with Roland Park Country School,” said her daughter, Patricia “Tish” Michel, with whom she had lived for the past four years. “She enjoyed watching ‘Wheel of Fortune’ and ‘Jeopardy’ every night and had hoped to spend her 100th birthday as a contestant on ‘Wheel of Fortune.’ ”
Her daughter also said, “She was a loving and generous individual who never had an unkind word to say about anyone.”
After her 1960 marriage to Charles E Quandt, a partner at the Niles, Barton and Wilmer law firm, she frequently dined with him at the old Marconi’s restaurant on West Saratoga Street, where he had been a customer for many years.
Mrs. Quandt was an accomplished cook and enjoyed preparing pork tenderloin, lobster, salmon and duck dishes for Sunday family dinners. She attended performances at the old Baltimore Opera Company, gardened and was a world traveler.
“She taught me the ability to use proper grammar,” said her grandson, David Delano Wright of Baltimore. “She was a proper and very caring person. She was an early inspiration for music.”
Mrs. Quandt was a former member of First English Lutheran and Emmanuel Episcopal churches. She was also a member of the Johns Hopkins Club.
After moving from Charles Village in 1936, she lived for many years at a home her parents built on Bellemore Road. She drove until she was 95 and took walks through her neighborhood. Family members said she never missed a weekly hair appointment and enjoyed a single glass of wine at night.
“When she gave up that glass of wine, she blamed it on her doctor,” said her daughter. “The truth was, I stopped it — but she never let on.”
A celebration of her life will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Towson Unitarian Universalist Church, 1710 Dulaney Valley Road..
In addition to her daughter and grandson, survivors include cousins. Her husband of 34 years died in 1994. A son, Hugo K. L. Hurrelbrinck Jr., died in 1971.