Harriet S. Macomber
Harriet S. Macomber

November 19, 1926 - May 20, 2020
Born in Des Moines, Iowa
Resided in Des Moines, Iowa
  • Contat Us
  • Guestbook
  • Photos
  • Services
  • Send Flowers


Harriet Ann Starzinger Macomber, a patron of the arts, died May 20, 2020. She was born in Des Moines on November 19, 1926, the daughter of Vincent and Genevieve Evans Starzinger. Harriet attended classes through eighth grade at Laura Coffee Memorial School, later named Windsor Day School, a short two block walk from her home.

As a young girl in the late 1930s, she and her family boarded a ship to Europe for an extended trip to several countries by car and rail. Each fall with her parents and her brother, they often traveled to University of Iowa football games, and she continued to follow the Hawkeyes throughout the years.

A 1944 graduate of Roosevelt High School, Harriet received a BA degree in finance from Wellesley College in 1948. Upon her graduation, she returned to her hometown and was employed for a time at Younkers in its promotion department working statewide. Harriet married J. Locke Macomber on September 15,1954 at the Starzinger family home.

Both Harriet and Locke took great pleasure in art museums, music and the theatre in Des Moines and when traveling in the United States and abroad. Together they actively participated in and supported many Des Moines philanthropies including the Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines Symphony, Drake University, Orchard Place, YMCA, United Way of Central Iowa, Greater Des Moines Community Foundation, and their church, Cathedral Church of Saint Paul. Harriet was especially devoted to the Des Moines Art Center and had a deep appreciation of its collection. She took classes there as a child, and as an adult, she became a docent and served a term as membership chair. She succeeded her father and her husband as a trustee.

In later years, Harriet would often travel to New York City and London to enjoy theatrical productions and visit museums. Prior to attending various plays, she would often request scripts in advance to review the actors’ lines. She enjoyed the resources at the Des Moines Public Library where she researched various topics and shared information with others. Harriet was a voracious reader of the Des Moines Register, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Barron’s. She was a founder of Petticoat Mutual Investment Group; her other interests included Comment Club, BWA Foundation, North of Grand Neighborhood Association, Pioneer Club, and Junior League Sustainers bridge. She held memberships in the Wakonda Club, the Des Moines Club, and the Yale Club in New York City. In all that she did, she appreciated the many kindnesses extended to her with a warm smile and a gracious manner.

Harriet was predeceased by her parents, Vincent Starzinger and Genevieve Evans Starzinger, her husband, J. Locke Macomber (1923-1998), and her brother, Vincent Evans Starzinger and his wife, Mildred Hill Starzinger of New Hampshire. She is survived by her niece, Page Hill Starzinger (partner David Baker), New York City and her nephew, Evans Starzinger (Beth Leonard), Alexandria, Virginia.

A private interment will be in Laurel Hill Cemetery, and a memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Harriet’s honor may be directed to the Des Moines Art Center, 4700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50312 or to the Des Moines Symphony, 1011 Locust Street #200, Des Moines, Iowa 50309.





Memorial Service


Des Moines Art Center
4700 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50312
Des Moines Symphony
1011 Locust Street, Suite 200
Des Moines, IA 50309