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Harriette (Koffler) Dorsen

WEST CORNWALL — Harriette (Koffler) Dorsen, 68, of West Cornwall died, peacefully and with her family at her side, on June 5, 2011, at Noble Horizons in Salisbury.

She was born Aug. 26, 1942, in Newark, N.J., the daughter of the late Sondra and Joseph Koffler.

She married Norman Dorsen on Nov. 25, 1965. He survives at home.

Harriette was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and New York University School of Law. After taking time to raise her children, she joined the New York law firm of Lankenau, Kovner and Bickford, where she rose to become a managing partner.

She left LKB to become general counsel of Bantam Doubleday Dell publishers and, after a merger, general counsel of Random House, where she was one of the country’s most forward-looking and influential publishing lawyers. She then became an executive at Plaza Construction Company.

After retiring, she concentrated on her many interests, including photography, crossword puzzles, Nia dancing, bird-watching, yoga, and above all her children and grandchildren. Throughout her life she was an accomplished and eclectic cook.

She was at various times a member of the boards of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, Planned Parenthood New York, the National Book Foundation, the Cornwall Association and the Cornwall Consolidated School Fund for Excellence. Active in politics, she was elected chair of the Cornwall Democratic Town Committee and chair of the Northwest Connecticut Democratic Coalition.

In addition to her devoted husband, she is survived by three daughters, Jennifer, Caroline, and Annie; three grandchildren, Claudia, Tanya and Mateo, all of whom cherished and will never forget their “Mimi;” her brother-in-law, David Dorsen, and his wife, Kenna; and countless friends in New York, Cornwall, Sanibel, Fla., and elsewhere.

There are no words adequate to describe the lovely person Harriette was, the good that she did, the support she provided, or the depth of feeling with which she will be missed.

Contributions in her name may be made to the Women’s Cancer Center at NYU Cancer Institute, 160 East 34 St., New York, NY 10016.

The date of a memorial service to be held in Cornwall will be announced. Burial was private.