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Re: Alice Conner Harness

HARNESS, CONNER, SYLVESTER, STAGERS, VAUGHN, BURNS

Posted By: Sarah Thorson Little (email)
Date: 1/21/2015 at 18:37:44

In Response To: Re: Alice Conner Harness (John Hathway)

I located an obituary for Alice (Conner) Harness which gives some biographical information.

From other records: Alice Gertrude Conner was born in Locust Grove, Jefferson County, Iowa on September 26, 1902 to Claude Conner and Frankie (Sylvester) Conner [Jefferson County, Iowa Birth index]; She married Elza Harness on July 19, 1921 in Ottumwa, Wapello, Iowa; [Wapello County, Iowa marriage records]; She died on January 1, 1997 in Sacramento, California [California Death Index].

Obituary:
Alice Gertrude (Conner) Harness
September 26, 1902 Ė January 1, 1997

Alice Gertrude Harness, "a lifelong, diehard Democrat from the Roosevelt era," died in her Sacramento, California home January 1, 1997, at the age of 94. Her Democratic philosophy came to fruition during the "New Deal era, when things were tough," her son-in-law Doyle Stagers said. "She was interested in all phases of community endeavors."

Born in Batavia, Iowa, in September of 1902, she graduated from high school there before heading to Parsons College in Fairfield, Iowa, where she earned a teaching credential. Mrs. Harness taught school for one year before marrying and deciding to stay home to raise a family. During World War II, her family moved to Washington, D.C., where she worked for the FBI as a clerk. In that war, she lost a son in the Battle of the Bulge. On Thanksgiving in 1953, a family visit to Sacramento extended until well after Christmas simply because they liked Sacramento so much. Early in 1954, the Harness family decided to relocate. In the 1960s, Mrs. Harness worked for the state as a counselor for inmates at the Folsom and Ione prisons. She also started the William C. Harness Memorial Halfway House in Stockton for those released on parole. That house is now closed; Mrs. Harness retired in 1969.

She is survived by a daughter, Virginia E. Vaughn of Ramona; a sister, Ethel Burns of Austin, Colo.; seven grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren. Mrs. Harness was preceded in death by her husband, Elza; sons, William C. and Eugene E.; and, a daughter, Betty Stagers. South East Lawn Mortuary, 9189 E. Stockton Blvd., in Elk Grove was in charge of arrangements. Burial was in Cherokee Memorial Park in Lodi, California.

Her Poem:

TALL TREE
by Alice Conner Harness

Tall tree, standing in the rain,
You know naught of grief or pain,
Know not how it feels to cry,
Count not moments passing by,

There you stand in ageless calm,
Where the birds sing praise at dawn
Warmed by sun and wet by dew,
Signing winds pass softly through,

Yet you too, have seen the storm
Glad your branches lashed and torn,
Yet, you never do complain
Be the weather sun or rain.

Tall Tree, reaching toward the sky,
You would never ask God, why
He had planned for you to live.
All you do is grow and give.

Happy thought. Oh! Why canít I
Give to all those passing by
Some of what God gives to me,
Grow for him just like a tree.

Tall Tree, youíve my thoughts inspired.
Made me glad when I was tired,
Without effort on your part,
You have healed my broken heart.

Tall tree, standing in the rain,
Youíve not lived your life in vain,
Nor will I, Iíll strive to be
Uncomplaining, like a tree.

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