Beloved Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, Aunt, Sister and friend, Iva Louise (Smith) Harmon passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on February 18th, 2016.
Iva, known to her friends and family as Ivy, was born May 28th, 1925 at her parent's home in Galeton, Colorado; the eighth of eleven children to Walter William and Edith Elmina (Gardner) Smith. Her family moved to Missouri to farm, shortly after she was born.
On her family farm she met her future husband, Adam (Pete) Lee Harmon, while he was working for her father. They married on May 3rd, 1942 in Paragould, Arkansas. During the eighteen years they lived and farmed at Senath, Hahn and Osceola in Missouri they had six children.
A friend of Pete's told him to “Go West young man” to find work and great hunting and fishing. So, in May 1960, Pete and Iva packed up their six kids in a Nash Rambler, pulling a small homemade trailer all the way to Washington State. Most of their relatives in Missouri thought they were never going to get over the high mountains in the west, however, a week later they made it to Bingen Washington. The following year they relocated to Mosier Oregon because it was closer to Pete's work at Harvey Aluminum Plant in The Dalles. They resided in Mosier for forty-eight years.
Besides being a wife and mother, Iva worked at the Hood River Memorial Hospital as a nurse’s aide. While there, she was such a caring and compassionate person, always putting the needs of others before her own that she was recognized by the Hospital. Patients voted on her to receive the prestigious award of “Nurse of the Month”. She won the award the first three months the program was offered and received a “Tender Loving Care” pin. She was very proud of becoming the first triple repeater of this award.
After retiring from her nursing career and private elderly care service, her passion became serving her community, which translated into years of volunteer service. She was recognized for her work at the Mosier Library, the development of Rock Creek Park, Mosier Alliance, Mosier Community School, Mosier City Council, the Pocket Park at Mosier Creek and the local SOLV cleanup program in Mosier. She could not have accomplished all she did without the support of her good friend Gaye Jervey.
In 2006, at the age of 80, she received the Oregon state individual SOLV Citizenship Award. This Oregon state award recognized her outstanding volunteer commitment to her community. She was also a member of the Mosier Grange, the Celilo Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution and a member of the Life of Christ Center in The Dalles.
She loved reading but enjoyed being outdoors and was an energetic walker. She hunted and fished with her husband until his death in 2002. She loved watching all of her “chicks and chickadees” participate in any of their activities. It was the simple things around her in life that she never took for granted, commenting daily how fortunate and thankful she was. We will remember her smile, her warmth, her energy and her love for life. She worked very hard all her life, up until the very end.
Our mother was preceded in death by her husband, mother and father, seven sisters and one brother. Left to miss her forever are her children, Dannie (Doc) Harmon of The Dalles, DeLinda Koster and husband Bob of Ohio, Jerry Harmon and wife Patty of Boise, ID, Janice Menzie and husband Randy, Cathy L. Smith and husband David, Becky Bradley and husband Terry all of The Dalles. Also missing her are 19 grandchildren, 36 great grandchildren, 3 great, great grandchildren and her sisters Katie Harmon and Juanita Wisner of Missouri. All have many more stories and memories to be told about this wonderful woman.
Family meant everything to her. She was a beautiful person with a generous spirit and a wonderful Mother who raised her children with traditions and principles, teaching them to be strong and independent. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren were one of her greatest joys. She was a strong woman with a quick wit and great sense of humor who was admired by many for her wisdom and advice. She enriched the lives of all who knew her. YOU ARE FOREVER IN OUR HEARTS MOM!
We now reluctantly and sadly say good-bye and Godspeed to this beautiful woman.
All of us welcome her friends and all those who loved her to her memorial service, Saturday, April 2nd, 2016 at 1:00 PM at the Life of Christ Center, 3095 Cherry Heights Road, The Dalles, Oregon.
A very special heartfelt thank you to the Providence Hood River Hospital and Providence Hospice of the Gorge. In lieu of flowers, donations in her name would be gratefully accepted by Providence Hospice of the Gorge, 751 Myrtle Street, The Dalles, OR 97058.
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