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- The Deas family

Harriet "Baba" Belser Deas

April 11, 1923December 28, 2018
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Harriet "Baba" Belser Deas was many things: daughter, mother, wife, sister, aunt, grandmother, great-grandmother, crafter, author, teacher, entertainer, mentor, and much more. She did nothing halfway and was a force with which to be reckoned. And yes, this is grammatically correct because she drilled into us that you never end a sentence with a preposition.

Born 95 years ago in the deep south of Columbia, South Carolina, to Irvine Furman Belser and Mary Campbell Heyward Belser, she passed away on December 28th, 2018. She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard Deas; and brothers Irvine and Heyward; and sisters May, Kittum, Anne, Peggy and Mildred. She is survived by her three (3) children whom she loved dearly: Dickie Deas of Miami, Florida; Happy Deas of Boca Raton, Florida; and Tatta and her husband Gary Gardner of Bonita Springs, Florida; 2 grandchildren: Nicholas and Nathaniel Deas; 2 great grandchildren: Reagan and Ryan Deas; and many nieces and nephews and other relatives and many, many friends.

Baba had numerous careers throughout her life with the more notable ones being an English teacher at an all male Naval Academy in Sanford, Florida and an Insurance/Payroll administrator at the Seminole County School Board. She also loved her time with the Florida Greeting Service which was a derivative of the Welcome Wagon which fully utilized her personable skills.

Baba loved life and was the epitome of a true Southern belle - she loved hosting family and friends for any and all occasions and was the "maestro" of hosting. She was the ultimate crafter and crocheter and project-based lady. Rarely was she ever without numerous projects going at the same time.

At age 85, she wrote a book, entitled, "Six from the Top, Three from the Bottom" which was edited by her dear friend, David Wells. This turned out to be a significant highlight in her life. This enabled all of us to gain invaluable insights into her life and upbringing.

She was devoted to her friends and would do anything for them and they would reciprocate. She was an extraordinary mom, sister, and friend to so many people and to know her was to truly love her. Our lives will never be the same without her; however, we have been so incredibly enriched with unconditional love and laughter that we will remain blessed forever. We will truly miss you Mom!

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.BabioneBocaRaton.com for the Deas family.


  • Dickie Deas, Son
  • Happy Deas, Daughter
  • Tatta Deas Gardner, Daughter
  • Gary Gardner, Son-in-law
  • Nicholas Deas, Grandson
  • Dari Deas, Granddaughter-in-law
  • Nathaniel Deas, Grandson
  • Jean Deas, Granddaughter-in-law
  • Reagan Deas, Great Granddaughter
  • Ryan Deas, Great Grandson

  • The Chapel of St. Andrew
  • Trustbridge Hospice Foundation
  • Trustbridge Hospice Foundation


  • Memorial Service Friday, January 4, 2019

Harriet "Baba" Belser Deas

have a memory or condolence to add?

Crill Harden - Head

January 23, 2019

Loved your Mom! She was special to our family and always had a smile and a spirit of joy.

Molly Bush Pflueger

January 14, 2019

Dear Dickie, Happy, and Tatta.... I thought the world of your Mama. Prayers, hugs, and happy memories to you and your families.... the grandchildren will hold their love for their grandmother in their hearts forever.
We always sent Christmas cards back and forth. This year I decided to send New Years cards.... when I didn’t hear from your Mom I knew something had happened. She ALWAYS wrote.
Your Mom was of the old guard of Sanford. Hardly anyone is left now. Ruth Jean will be 100 years old in March. Your Mom’s good friend. She lives with her daughter.
Unless one grew up in Sanford when we all did, one has no idea how special a place and time it was. Sure... everyone has family friends... we had a whole town of Aunts and Uncles. Very Special!!! I look forward to seeing them again one day. I would like to stay in touch with you so if you are on FB Friend me. I’m Molly Bush Pflueger.
Loved all the pictures in the lovely movie of your Mom... a life well lived! 💖💖💖

Tandy Robinson

January 5, 2019

Dear Happy and Tatta,

My deepest sympathies for the loss of your mother and friend to all of us she touched and made laugh. I adored Baba ...her egg nog Christmas parties, friendship, funny stories, generous heart, beautiful blankets she knitted for Gracie's birth, birthday lunches, thoughtfulness..she always remembered my family and now we will always smile as we remember her.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Dee Blakemore

January 4, 2019

Baba is such a warm and memorable lady. I cherish all the "goodies" that I have in my house and in my memory. She will always be my favorite Southern Lady--always!

God bless all.

With love,

Nancy Hanson

January 3, 2019

Dear Happy, Tatta and Dickie,
Your mother was always so sweet and kind to me. Even though I hadn’t seen your mom in a long time, she made me a beautiful crocheted blanket for the birth of my daughter and I still have it fifteen years later.
I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
Nancy Neal Hanson

Teddi Narcowich

January 3, 2019

My deepest condolences to Happy, Tata and Dickey. Baba touched everyone and everything with her spirit and determination. Her deep southern grace and charm shown in all her pursuits. Sharing her stories and giving of her crafts were priceless. Through her children you can see the virtues and attributes she possessed. She will continue to live by memories she bestowed upon us. For me, the loving crocheted blankets, the laughter that turned in heartfelt cries and Happy her daughter/my dear friend.
We are bountifully blessed by her being.
Love and Light to All. 💞🙏

Michele Schoen

January 2, 2019

I will cherish all the good times I spent with my dear friend Baba.

So many years ago when I was adopted into the Deas garage sale family we became great friends. She sure loved her garage sales. Before one sale would end she was planning the next, when the rest of us just wanted a rest.
Baba taught me to crochet and we would visit and crochet together - such special times.

Baba loved her craft projects , she has made many things for all of us over the years. Her handmade gifts hold very special memories of a very special lady.
I will miss you Miss B. Rest in peace.

Love, Michele

Gerson Brisola

January 2, 2019

Life reaches its full meaning when one loves and is loved. This was Baba's life among us, and for that, I am so very thankful. To Happy, and to all the family, here's some love back. Thinking of you. And of Baba.

Kathi Karageorges-Sharp

January 1, 2019

I am so glad that Happy shared her mom with us. I had the pleasure of talking with her, receiving and reading her autobiography, and being the recipient of handmade crafts for the table and kitchen. As well, at Happy’s luncheons, there was always a new tablecloth with matching napkins made by Baba for the occasion! May this very strong and gracious lady Rest In Peace. Blessed to have known her! I know she will be very missed.

Kay Campbell

January 1, 2019

Baba always answered my calls with "Hello, my friend." Now it's time for me to say, "Good-bye, my friend." Though we will meet again, I will dearly miss her unique southern charm in the meantime. I'll fondly cherish the memory of her special way of craft making, bark baking and scrabble playing. My heartfelt condolences to all who knew and loved her.