Connie Harrold didn’t just cook for friends and family, she created a culinary experience.
The former school teacher found great joy in planning dinner parties and entertaining friends and strangers.
“It all kind of goes together, the hosting, the catering and the entertaining,” said her daughter, Dr. Elizabeth “Beth” Ratchford, who lives in Baltimore.
Irmela Jordan was Harrold’s close friend and partner in the kitchen for more than 30 years. Jordan said her friend never threw something together; there was always a plan.
“The idea of putting it all together — what to make, what would go well together, what was in season — she enjoyed all of that,” Jordan said. “And then she would cook it to perfection, and she would enjoy watching people eat.”
Harrold, an Atlanta native and Sandy Springs resident, put her culinary skills to a grueling test when she helped put together the Marist School cookbook in 1990, while her daughter was a student there. Ratchford remembers working with her mother on the school fund-raising project.
“We had to make all of the recipes that were going to be in the book,” she said with a light laugh. “So that was a lot of fun for her, I think. She also enjoyed discovering new recipes or taking a recipe someone had given her and making little changes here and there.”
Constance Pierce Harrold, called Connie by most, died Nov. 12 of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. She was 65.
A memorial service is planned for 11 a.m. Saturday at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, Atlanta. H.M. Patterson & Son, Oglethorpe Hill, is in charge of arrangements.
Harrold graduated from the University of Georgia in 1969 with a degree in English. She taught elementary school in Athens before marrying Tom Harrold in 1971. She stopped teaching when the couple’s only child, Ratchford, was born, but then returned to the classroom in the 1980s, a few years after the family moved to Atlanta.
Ratchford said her mother’s love for cooking and culinary arts was accentuated by her father’s career in international law. Harrold often entertained her husband’s clients and their families.
“We once had a cooking class for a group of Japanese women,” Jordan said. “They wanted to know the American way of cooking, and Connie prepared all of the food, even down to the ice cream. She was amazing.”
But more than the food, Harrold loved the people with whom she came in contact, Ratchford said.
“The reward for her was making other people happy through her food, or her party,” her daughter said. “On top of that, she was the most fun-loving person. We were like sisters anyway. But, if I’d been her age, I know would have loved to hang out with her.”
In addition to her husband of 42 years and her daughter, Harrold is survived by siblings, Alice Vigil and Edward Pierce, both of Austin, Texas; and two grandsons.