Harriett Drilling

Obituary of Harriett A. Drilling

Harriett Drilling of Ocala, FL passed away September 6, 2021. She was born April 6, 1933 in Crawfordsville, IN. Harriett graduated from Bosse High School, Evansville, IN in 1950 and received a BS in Education from the University of Evansville in 1953.  In 1958, she earned a master’s degree from Indiana University.  Harriett was a public school teacher and librarian/media specialist in Indiana and Broward County, FL for 30 years.  She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma International Honorary Society for Women Teachers. She held offices in the Florida Education Association, National Education Association, and Florida Association of School Librarians.


After retiring in 1985, Harriett and her husband, Tom, moved to Ocala, FL to be near their daughter, Christine, and three grandchildren.  Harriett was actively involved with the Pioneer Garden Club of Ocala and the Marion County Audubon Society. She grew roses and orchids and loved creating plays or games for her grandchildren.  She was a long standing member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Smithsonian Institution. She supported the Red Cross, PBS, St Jude’s for Children and many political candidates.


Harriett and Tom loved to travel and made it to 6 continents and all 50 states.  Harriett’s love of museums, botanical gardens, and biographies never waned.  Above all, Harriett and Tom enjoyed spending time with their family. Harriett had a big, beautiful smile and never lost interest in the activities of her family or current events.  She instilled in her family the value of a good education and being a good citizen.


She is survived by daughter Christine (Bob) Gianna of Ocala, FL. Survivors also include three grandchildren Jennifer (Stephan) Ginzberg of Marietta, GA, Rob (Laura) Gianna of Kitty Hawk, NC, and Rebecca (Andrew) Havlir of Orlando, FL; as well as seven great-grandchildren Dominic, Ella and Vincent Gianna, Grace and Hazel Havlir and Emily and David Ginzberg; and many nieces and nephews.  Harriett was preceded in death by her parents General Carl O. and Eunice DeBard; her husband of 66 years Thomas Drilling; and her brother Colonel Robert L. DeBard.


Donations in memory of Harriett Drilling may be sent to Interfaith Emergency Services of Marion County, FL.  PO Box 992, Ocala, FL 34478.  There will be a private family service with interment at Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell, FL.  Arrangements entrusted with HIERS-BAXLEY Funeral Services-Belleview, 352-245-2424.  Sentiments may be left online at www.hiers-baxley.com.


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