On Monday, June 25, 2018, as the late afternoon sunlight filled the room, Harriet (Enger) Prochorchik peacefully passed away with her daughter singing a favorite hymn and holding her hand.
Harriet was born May 27, 1926 in Churchs Ferry, North Dakota, to Lawrence and Mabel Hatling Enger. She graduated from Churchs Ferry High School in 1943 at the age of 17. Harriet started nursing school in Devils Lake after high school but had to discontinue when her parents lost their farm and moved to York, North Dakota.
Harriet worked in Scott’s 5 and Dime Store at the candy counter when she met Walter Prochorchik. Walt had been working at the Port of Embarkation in Seattle, WA during the war and was riding his motorcycle back to Connecticut. He got stopped by a February snowstorm, and took a job in a poultry hatchery in Devils Lake. The couple were married in York, ND on August 18, 1946 and settled in Devils Lake. Their first son, Robert was born there in 1947. In 1949, the couple moved to CT when Walt’s father died. They bought a small farm in Chaplin. It is in Chaplin where they built a home and raised three children: Robert, Lawrence and Judith. They were active members of the Chaplin Congregational Church since 1955. Harriet and Walt raised chickens, beef and vegetable gardens to support the family. Between the two they could fix anything or design a new way to get something done. The couple was happily married 56 years until Walter’s passing in 2002 due to complications from Alzheimer’s.
Harriet was an accomplished seamstress, homemaker and gardener. She put her artistic talents into everything she did, whether decorating cakes, doing needlework, making her daughter’s dresses or planting multiple flower beds. She was a knowledgeable and avid birdwatcher. She baked her own bread until she was in her eighties, and made krumkake (a Norwegian Christmas cookie) every year, sharing the tradition with her granddaughters.
She was hired in 1969 as a Clerk at the Chaplin Post Office where she worked as an integral part of the community for nearly 20 years, retiring in 1989. She worked with Lee Hicks, the Postmistress, for nearly 15 of those years and they remained best friends for the rest of their lives.
Harriet celebrated her 90th birthday at the farm in Chaplin, CT, with a joyful reunion of family and friends from ten states. Her spirit of adventure brought her to Montana, to be near her daughter, later that year. She deeply enjoyed her new surroundings and friends at Touchmark in Helena. Harriet delighted in her new apartment and participated in Brain Builders group, Book club and functional fitness classes, and every day looked forward to dinner and conversations with her many friends. In addition to Jude and George, she was blessed to celebrate her 92nd birthday with her niece Coralee Auverson Brewer.
Harriet is predeceased by her parents; her husband, Walter; her brother, Clarence Enger; her sister, Jeanette Auverson; her sons, Bob and Larry, and grandson Ethan Oberst. She is survived by her sister Geraldine (Don) Jore of Billings, Mt; her daughter, Jude (George) Oberst of Helena, MT; her granddaughters Heather Prochorchik of Brooklyn, NY; Tamara Prochorchik of Santa Fe, NM, and several nieces and nephews. In her later years Harriet developed a special bond with her niece Kim (Mike) Kovarovics of Ashford, CT. She cherished the love and support of her Chaplin friends, especially, Doreen and John Bolduc.
A gathering to celebrate Harriet’s life will be held at Touchmark at a later date. A special thanks to the staff of Touchmark and to Lisa Schmitz, Shanda and Jordan for their gracious support.
Memorials in Harriet’s name are requested to Helena Food Share.