Harriet Jane Campsey Sides
Harriet Jane Campsey Sides. Oct. 27, 1944 to March 25, 2020.
A great Texas lady left the stage last Wednesday. Harriet Sides, also known to some of her family as Janie, was 75.
Harriet’s “stage” was an area of north Texas, in particular the towns of Jacksboro and Wichita Falls, between which lay Happy C Ranch established more than 100 years ago by her great grandfather Joseph Campsey. She and her much loved husband L.W. Sides enjoyed a marriage of 32 years, having met and later married in Tyler on Oct. 4, 1986.
They were a charismatic couple, not afraid to work the cattle together, who also enjoyed national and international travel and made enduring and cherished friendships during their life together. Members of the Post Oak Baptist Church, they worked seamlessly as a team. L.W.’s death at the age of 85 in the early Summer of 2018 saw a certain slowing of Harriet’s life, but her dedication to family and friends was undiminished.
Harriet was a proud alumnus of Wichita Falls High School and Texas Tech. Following university and a first marriage, tests and trials beset her early years, some spent further afield as a newly single mother. She moved to Tyler and brought up her devoted sons Will and Wade Mangum with equal amounts of care, determination and tenacity.
She was a force to be reckoned with, becoming a leading light in the Cub Scouting movement, the Red Hat organization and a co-founder and first president of the Post Oak Crime Watch group. She and L.W. were longstanding members of the Wichita Falls Club. Harriet was especially proud to continue her father, Harry Campsey’s support of the Boys and Girls Club of Wichita Falls. Despite recent mobility issues she was able to attend the Dec. 7 opening of the North West Texas Field and Stream Boys Hunting Lodge outside Jacksboro. The Boys Deer Hunt event was co-founded by her father in 1967, closely followed by the annual Girls Fishing Day some years later. Both events still take place each year.
In time, Harriet earned the status of family matriarch and with L.W. maintained and nurtured family connections throughout Texas and beyond. Their own family grew and included Will and Denise Mangum of Jacksboro and Wade Mangum and Malcolm Brown of Austin together with L.W.’s daughter and son from his first marriage: Kathy Crawley and Gevan Werley of Baytown and Tom and Pam Sides of Willis. She is survived by her brother and sister-in-law Mike and Julie Campsey and beloved stepmother Geneva Campsey, five grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. Harriet was preceded in death by parents Harry and Melba Leatherwood Campsey.
The weeks since New Year brought Harriet many physical hardships which she fought through one by one. Her love of life was still strong, but being told last week that her neuropathy meant that she could no longer walk, was perhaps one challenge too many. Late on Wednesday night, with Wade and Will at her side, she quietly and peacefully slipped away.
At the end, when the last page is turned, surely all that matters is this: were you loved and did you make a difference? The family and friends of Harriet Jane Campsey Sides have one answer: Yes.
A private service will be held due to current social distancing requirements. The family will host a celebration of her life later in the year.
Memorials may be made to Concerned Citizens, 400 E. Pine St., Jacksboro, Texas 76458.