Harriet Lipton


Harriet Lipton passed away at home on June 2, 2017, surrounded by family.

To have known Harriet was to have known an exceptionally good person. She was blessed with great compassion and warmth and was loved by her many friends and family in Alabama, Connecticut and New York.

She grew up in a small town in Michigan, where her father was a successful private investor and her mother was a homemaker. She attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and while she was there, met a young medical student, Lester, who would be the love of her life.

Together they moved to New York, where Harriet raised their three children in the suburbs and Lester built a successful ophthalmology practice in Manhattan. They created a wonderful life together and shared a love of dancing, opera, travel, gardening, entertaining and fine cuisine. Harriet was also passionate about tennis, golf, French, cooking and art.

Once her children were in school full time, she returned to get a B.A. degree in art history from SUNY Purchase. As part of her senior thesis she documented the 1980s art scene and worked at the Gracie Mansion gallery, one of the most avant-garde galleries in the East Village. After that she worked as a volunteer docent at the Whitney Museum for 30 years.

She possessed a discerning eye for art and was an early collector of artists such as Cindy Sherman, Robert Mangold, Andreas Gursky and Gilbert and George. She and Lester loved visiting galleries together and befriending various artists.

Later Harriet started a business giving art tours from her residence in Lakeville, Connecticut. She would bring groups to various museums and to galleries in New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Harriet was active in many nonprofits, including Artists' Space, Noble Horizons and The Congregational Church in Salisbury. She was House Committee Chairman and a Governor of the Sharon Country Club.

She also started a radio show in northwest Connecticut where ministers, rabbis and Catholic priests were invited to give a daily word of inspiration.

After Lester retired, they discovered the beautiful community of Fairhope, Alabama. Harriet became involved in many activities there as well and enjoyed playing golf and being a part of the lunch bunch of Mobile.

The most important thing to Harriet was her family. She and Lester always had fun together whether traveling to Europe, (their favorite places were Paris and Beaulieu-sur-Mer) or elegantly sashaying with great panache on the dance floor. She made friends easily and was loved by many.

She will be greatly missed by her husband of 57 years, Lester; her children, Sherri Grace (and son-in-law, Jack), Brandi Lipton, Shawn Lipton (and daughter-in-law, Nicole); and grandchildren, Ally, Eliza and Jack Grace and Amelia Lipton; sister, Charlotte Martin; and loving nieces and nephews.

A memorial service and reception will be held on June 13 at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Fairhope at 11 a.m. The family requests people wear color per Harriet's request.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Trinity Presbyterian Church.