Harriet Waggener Pickering
April 6, 1926 – December 17, 2018
Harriet Waggener Pickering, our beloved Mother, passed away on Monday, December 17th, 2018 in Lenoir City, Tennessee. She was 92. Born April 6, 1926 to parents Ernest and Esther Young Waggener, she lived her first two years in Springfield, Kentucky. Upon the early death of her father, Harriet’s mother moved them and her sister, Dorothy, to Francisco, Indiana, the hometown of her mother. There, Harriet, called Hattie at the time, was raised and went to school among many cousins, aunts, uncles and her grandparents, Albert and Hattie Taylor Young. In 1942, at the age of 16, she graduated from high school and moved to Albion, Illinois. There she took her first job working for the war effort at a radio parts factory. At 18, she moved to Mobile, Alabama to join her sister, Dorothy and attend business school. After graduating, she worked at the FBI office in Mobile. We believe the time there spurred her lifelong interest in mystery and true crime. It was in Mobile that our Mother met the love of her life, our Father, John H. “Pick” Pickering, a dashing young Air Force Captain. Due to a mishearing of her childhood nickname during their introduction, Pick forever called Harriet “Buzz”. To their friends and coworkers, they were always known as “Pick and Buzz”. They married in June 1950 and traveled the world together. Traveling was always her dream. In 1964, after our Dad retired from the Air Force, they moved from Langley Air Force Base to Norfolk, Virginia. In 1969, Harriet rejoined the work force as a Clerk of the Court for the City of Norfolk. In 1981, Pick and Buzz both retired and became snowbirds, dividing their time between Norfolk, Virginia and Punta Gorda, Florida. They spent their retirement years traveling the world and country. In 2007, our parents moved full circle back to Mobile, Alabama to be closer to family. In Mobile, our Mother devoted herself to caring for Pick as he fought dementia. Daddy passed away in 2016, and this year our Mama made her last move to the beautiful state of Tennessee. Harriet leaves behind her two daughters Linda Pickering Rucker and Denise Pickering Sugar; sons-in-law Harry J. Rucker and Mark F. Sugar; four grandchildren Hal Rucker (Lauren), Chris Rucker (Jessica), Lexi Rucker Pulido (Jamie) and Roxanne Sugar; and four great-grandchildren Violette and Rowan Pulido and Piper and Elizabeth Harriet Rucker; as well as her dear sister-in-law, Irma Pickering; nieces Karen (Sweetie) Watson, Teresa White, Cathy DeSoto, Carole Schierbeck, Janine Hewlett, Pam Tyner, and Rosemary Baese; and nephews Ron Darling, Jim Pickering and David Pickering. She also leaves behind her beloved kitty Sheba. Harriet left behind a legacy of her daily journals that are providing many hours of comfort and laughter to her family. All of us sorely miss her, but we know she is happy in heaven, reunited with Pick and other loved ones of the Greatest Generation. Harriet will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery alongside Pick.