DOWNEY – Longtime Downey resident Jeanie Harman passed away peacefully April 2, her 95th birthday. She was born on April Fool’s Day 1919 to Josephine and John Ettore Quilici in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in tiny Painesdale, the sixth of seven children.
Her early life was spent in Kenosha, Wis. She was educated in a one-room schoolhouse, Hillcrest Country School. After attending Kenosha High School, she went to business school and was employed by Newberry’s, Sears & Roebuck, and Nash Motors.
She met her future husband, Richard “Dick” Harman, in 1939 on the dance floor of the Eagle’s Ballroom in Kenosha. They were engaged in 1941 and were married at Holy Rosary Church in Kenosha on June 5, 1943.
In 1946, daughter Judith was born, followed five years later by son Jeffrey and in 1956 by daughter Diane. Jeanie was a member of the Catholic Junior League and St. Thomas Church.
In 1959, Dick was transferred to California with the Anaconda Brass Co. They spend the next 20 years in Downey where they were involved with Boy Scout Troop 709, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Downey Children’s Theatre, and Downey Civic Light Opera.
While raising her young family, Jeanie graduated from Cerritos College with a Practical Nursing degree. She was a dental technician and primary caregiver to Dick’s parents for 11 years.
In 1979, Jeanie and Dick moved to Kingsburg, Calif. to begin their retirement. Jeanie was active in Holy Family Church, Kingsburg Catholic Women’s Club, Kingsburg Historical Society, Kingsburg Cancer Volunteers, Angels on Wheels, and Kings river Country Club. In 1999, Jeanie was named Kingsburg’s Citizen of the Year.
Jeanie was the oldest and last living member of her family which included sisters Mercedes, Florinda (Fona), Corrine, and Carmen, and brothers Robert and Paul (Budgie).
She was preceded in death by Dick in 1998 after 54 years of marriage.
Jeanie is survived by her three children: Judith (Buzz) Myers, Jeff (Monica) Harman, Diane (Christopher) Sheridan; grandchildren: Ryan (Lindy) Sheridan, Matthew Harman, Kelly (Joseph) Kulm, Richard Harman, Gretchen (Scott) Murray, Drew Murray, Sarah Murray, David Myers, Christina (Brent) Triplett, Michael Myers, Steven (Pam) Myers, David (Jessica) Myers, Mitchell (Karin)Myers, Logan Myers, Peter Myers and Celeste Myers; and many nieces and nephews.
Visitation was held April 10 at Creighton Memorial Chapel in Kingsburg, followed by a Rosary at Holy Family Church.
A celebration of Jeanie’s life will be held at Holy Family Church at 10 a.m., to be followed immediately by a graveside service at Kingsburg Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be sent to Kingsburg Catholic Women’s Club Memorial Fund, the Kingsburg Cancer Volunteers or Kingsburg Historical Society.
Published: April 10, 2014 - Volume 12 - Issue 52