Harriet Friedman Pfrenzinger
June 17, 1936 ~ April 28, 2018
Our dancing angel left this world on April 28, 2018, at the age of 81. Her name is Harriet Friedman Pfrenzinger. Harriet was born June 17, 1936 in Newark, New Jersey.
Harriet started dancing when she was 10 years old, living in an affordable housing project, where she and her mother met the housing project manager, who happened to be a tap dancer. He noticed that Harriet was talented and he suggested that Harriet’s mother, Sylvia Friedman, send her to a dancing school for young ladies. Her mom and dad pooled all of their money and enrolled Harriet in the “Ethel Meglin Kiddies Dancing School”. Harriet never missed a lesson. She enjoyed dancing because people looked at her and were attracted by her, especially a 10 year old girl named Joyce, who became her lifelong friend. Joyce liked the way Harriet danced and the way she wore her costumes.
Harriet and Joyce joined the “Fanchonettes Precision Dancing Company”’ managed by Fanchon and Marco. It was comprised of 40 dancers who performed shows in a chorus line. Harriet was known for her high kicks and great legs. She toured around the country performing shows, still a young teenager, with her mom and dad at her side, encouraging her.
When Harriet was 17 years old, she applied for a dancing position with the newly created Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas, NV. She was previously turned down by many other casinos, but the Golden Nugget, accepted her application, after an audition showed that her kicks were higher than the average applicant and her vivaciousness suited the casinos persona. Her friend Joyce was accepted at the Thunderbird Casino at about the same time. They were ecstatic, throwing their acceptance letters in each others faces, and dancing on top of the world. It was now 1954 and a golden era had sprouted.
It wasn’t long before Harriet started attracting young suitors, including a young man, Clifford Honohan, a fireman, who soon became Harriet’s first husband. He insisted that Harriet return to Los Angeles, CA when the casinos started asking the dancers to go topless. Harriet and Cliff were married and soon had a baby girl, Herlene. Harriet did foster care of babies while Cliff was away at work, and she fell in love with Robert, a baby in foster care who was given up for adoption. She and Cliff adopted young baby Robert and he remains her son today. Cliff and Harriet divorced after 20 years of marriage. Unfortunately, Herlene was afflicted with cancer and she passed away when she was only 48 years old.
In 1979, Harriet, recently divorced, met Richard Pfrenzinger, who became the “Love of her Life” and she and Richard married the same year. They have been married for 38 years. They were a cute couple and the marriage lasted, through good times and bad times, namely 10 years of battling cancer, first breast cancer, which was successfully treated, then endometrial/ovarian cancer which took her life.
Harriet enjoyed a Celebration of Life, at which she was present on April 21, 2018. She was bedridden at the time, but she was the same Harriet, witty, kind, and accepting of her fate while loving her friends and relatives. Harriet never shed a tear over her eminent demise, but trying to accept their loss, the attendees could not hold back their emotions.
Harriet departed this earthly world, reminding people to watch over her Richard and keep dancing! 5, 6, 7, 8…..Dance!