Home Community Deaths Educator and Librarian Beulah Smith Harrigan Dies

Educator and Librarian Beulah Smith Harrigan Dies


Beulah Smith Harrigan of St. Thomas died May 7. She made her mark on the territory’s history as an educator and librarian.

“Beulah Harrigan revolutionized library services at V.I. schools and brought unique forms of education to thousands of young students over her years of public service. She was an inspirational woman who influenced many of our brightest scholars,” Gov. John deJongh Jr. said in a press release issued Thursday.

A viewing will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday at John Thomas Memorial Chapel on St. Thomas. A tribute begins at 9 a.m. Monday at Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral. The service starts at 10 a.m.

Harrigan graduated from Charlotte Amalie High School in 1942, and in 1971 from the College of the Virgin Islands. She later earned a master’s degree in library science from the University of Puerto Rico. For 26 years Harrigan served as children’s librarian at the Enid M. Baa Library.

“My impression of her was that she was very involved with the children and their welfare,” said Chris Doute, who worked with Harrigan at Baa Library.

He also remembers her as a kind and warm person, he said.

With the Education Department, she worked as a school librarian, district librarian, acting director of school libraries for the Virgin Islands, and school libraries supervisor for St. Thomas and St. John.

She also implemented a program for bringing talented storytellers, poets, undersea photographers and other notable Virgin Islanders into schools through the library.

Harrigan served as a member of the accreditation team, a delegate to the Governor’s Conference on Libraries, and as chairperson of the Governor’s Advisory Library Council for the Virgin Islands. She was an active member of the St. Thomas and the Virgin Islands Library Associations.

Harrigan is survived by her daughters Jean Gomez Bryan, Lorraine Galiber Gundel, Ruquyyah Cheryl Nicholas and Deborah Harrigan; sister Lillie Smith Jorquez; brother Llewelyn Smith; sister-in-law Florence Harrigan Chinnery; special cousin Beryl Edwards; and a multitude of other beloved family members and friends, including 20 grandchildren and 33 great-grandchildren.

Her husband, Delvin Harrigan, and only son, Richard, preceded her in death.


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