The heavenly population increased by one on Monday, Dec. 31, 2018, when Bonnie Chambers Harmeson passed away.
She was 91 and a resident of Cleveland. She was born in Hollywood, Fla., on Aug. 7, 1927.
Besides her parents, she was also preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Vernon Harmeson; her son, Dale Harmeson; her daughter-in-law, Carol Murphy Harmeson; and her four sisters: Loretta Barton, Irene Clements, Ineze McCullough and Wanda Pearce.
She received her elementary education in Columbus, Ga., and Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Upon relocating with her family to Fort Benning, Ga., she attended and graduated from Columbus High School in 1945. She was a member of the National Honor Society. Upon graduating in 1945 from Columbus High School, she enrolled at Bible Training School in Sevierville.
She continued her education at Lee College (now Lee University). She and her future husband, Vernon Harmeson, met as sophomores and married in 1949. She served with her husband in church ministry for nine years, before relocating to North Dakota to begin several years of teaching and administration in public schools. She received her bachelor of science degree from Minot State University, and she did graduate work at the University of North Dakota.
She returned to Cleveland in 1971, and was employed by Cleveland City Schools. She taught at Mayfield School and later served as librarian at Arnold. She retired after 25 years of teaching. She was a member of the National Education Association, American Library Association and the Cleveland Education Association, where she served as its president for a term. Mrs. Harmeson was a member of the Westmore Church of God.
She and her late husband were avid supporters of Lee University, and were always involved in the Alumni Association until his health declined. They were known for their yearly "open house" at Lee Homecoming.
Survivors include her son, Philip Harmeson and his wife Bonnie; her daughter-in-law, Mary Harmeson; her grandchildren: the Rev. Dennis Harmeson and his wife, Rebecca, Dean Harmeson and his wife, Janet, Angela Wood and her husband, Harry, and Brianne Harmeson; her great-grandchildren: Aaron, Ian and Samantha, Brenden and his wife, Jessica, Kaylee and Nathan and Ian and Hannah; a stepgrandson, Aaron Mitchell and his wife, Jenna Fer; her sisters: Margaret Biehl, Brownie Edmondson and Hilda Harris; and several nieces and nephews.
The Remembrance of Life memorial service will be conducted on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, at 2 p.m. at the Westmore Church of God, with Dr. Jerald Daffe and Pastor Phil Looney officiating.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made in Bonnie Harmeson's memory to Lee University Alumni Fund, P.O. Box 3450, Cleveland, TN 37320-3450.
The family expresses their appreciation to her wonderful neighbors, Connie Grigsby, Barbara Rice and family friends, Todd and Laura Gunderson.
Thanks also go to her loyal CNA, Becky Woodard. Between The Great Physician and her faithful doctor, Dr. Daniel Vance, they kept her healthy for many years.
The family will receive friends from 1 until 2 p.m. Saturday at the Westmore Church of God.
The Jim Rush Funeral and Cremation Services, North Ocoee Chapel, has charge of the arrangements.
You may share your condolences and your memories with the Harmeson family at www.jimrushfuneralhomes.com.
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