Obituary

Mildred M. Harmon
Mildred M. Harmon
Mildred M. Harmon

May 4, 1912 - September 30, 2020
Born in Northeast Madison County, Iowa
Resided in Windsor Heights, Iowa
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Obituary

Mildred M. Harmon, age 108, passed peacefully at the Iowa Jewish Senior Life Center, Des Moines, Iowa, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, from complications of COVID-19. The family is so grateful for the excellent, loving care she received by the nursing staff of the "best-known secret in town".

Mildred was born May 4, 1912 in Northeast Madison County, Iowa on a farm, spending her growing-up years on 3 different farms in Madison County. She began First Grade at age 4 at the Ebenezer one-room country school (the building which her Dad years later bought and moved onto his third farm for a garage and grain storage). Then south central Madison County along St. Charles Road became their home, from which she attended Hattles country one-room school. The third farm was on the diagonal between Winterset and St. Charles, Iowa. She graduated from St. Charles High School at age 16. After spending two years at home on the farm before she could attend American Academy of Beauty in Des Moines, she graduated from there as a "Beauty Operator", with honors.

Mildred worked in Knoxville, Iowa at a beauty salon for 5 years during which time she met Paris W. Harmon who worked at Armstrong Tire & Rubber and was a boarder of her sister's. After dating for five years they were married Dec. 20, 1936, at their ages of 24 (her being 42 days his senior) at the Justice of Peace.

From this union were born 3 daughters: Vonis “Anne” (Ron) Miller of Hayward, WI; Mary (Dan) Johnson of Des Moines, IA; and the late Susan Fox of Omaha, NE. To add to her quiver are 7 grandchildren; 10 great grandchildren; and her niece, "Little" Leona Palmer.

Mildred canned and froze many a fruit and vegetable, raising gardens for 35 years. They raised a large flower garden for about 30 years. Our seamstress provided many nice wraps and outfits. Years later she attended Adult Education for cake decorating and flower arranging. She arranged flowers for Epworth United Methodist Church, in Des Moines, where she and Paris were VERY ACTIVE, well-respected, and loved members. In her home, she hosted church ladies circles and Sunday School class members. She arranged and decorated her church altar with flowers from her garden. At Christmas, she graced the sanctuary with homemade pillar candles and greenery; she made crafts for church bazaars. Mildred was well-received by those who knew her, stating she "was a classy lady".

Imbued with wisdom, she was our cheerleader, counselor, and teacher. She showed much wisdom by example. Her home was her castle! and always where she wanted to be. She was a "crafty lady", always in the quiet of her home-picture-framing, sewing, re-covering and restoring furniture, embroidering, and preparing birthday dinners with decorated cakes for her family. She loved reading history of the United States. She was known for her humor and "wisecracks". She never lost her humor!

In 1952, on their first car trip to California, waiting in a Cinerama theater she and her mother remarked how it was that a jet broke the sound barrier! We made 4 trips to California to see her cousin in San Francisco and a dear friend in Los Angeles, formerly from Iowa. She loved our cabin vacations at Spirit Lake, Minnesota where a floating dock inhabited swimmers; and Dad and we daughters went fishing.

Mildred was preceded in death by her parents, John W. and Dora M. Haynes; her husband, Paris W. Harmon; her youngest daughter, Susan J. Fox; her sister, Leona Palmer; and a niece, Virginia Palmer.

A private family graveside will be held 11:00 a.m., Monday, October 5, 2020 at Highland Memory Gardens Cemetery, Des Moines. The graveside service will be livestreamed for those unable to attend. A link will appear around 10:45 a.m., Monday on Mildred’s obituary page at www.IlesCares.com, where you may also leave online condolences.

A Memorial Gathering and A Celebration of Life will be held in 2021 due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Memorials may be directed to Epworth United Methodist Church and the Iowa Jewish Senior Life Center.

Arrangements by Iles Westover Chapel

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PRIVATE FAMILY BURIAL
Highland Memory Gardens Cemetery
1 Northeast 60th Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50313
Monday, October 5, 2020
11:00 AM
Visitation
Private

Charities

Iowa Jewish Senior Life Center
900 Polk Boulevard
Des Moines, IA 50312
Epworth United Methodist Church
412 Euclid Avenue
Des Moines, IA