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Ramona Jean (Wiggins) Harris

1929 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Ramona Jean (Wiggins) Harris Obituary
Ramona Jean (Wiggins) Harris was born on January 2, 1929, the fifth of
six children born to Calvin and Addie (Gossett) Wiggins, on the family
farm near Wheeler, KS. She died on February 3, 2015, at the
Washington County Nursing Home at the age of 86.
Ramona began her education at Cheyenne Valley, a small country school
south of Wheeler, KS, in which she was the only student in her grade
level. A love for chatter was evident at that young age as she
received a spanking in the first grade for talking too much. In the
sixth grade, she began attending Bird City Grade School and later
graduated from Bird City High School in 1946. Ramona favored her
bookkeeping, shorthand, typing, and speech classes and enjoyed her
involvement in school plays, choir, band, and basketball.
Following graduation, Ramona worked in the Cheyenne County Courthouse
in St. Francis, KS, as a secretary for the probate judge's office and
for the county attorney. In September of 1946, Ramona began dating
Duane Harris, who had returned home to Bird City, KS, following his
service with the army. After a six month courtship, the two were
married on February 14, 1947, and moved to Platner, CO, where they
farmed and raised their three children, John, Robert and Denise.
After the loss of her husband Duane in 1983, Ramona continued to
successfully manage the farm and expand it over time.
Ramona was active in her community, participating in the Jolly Good
Neighbors home demonstration club and bowling on ladies' and couples'
leagues. She was a faithful member of the Church of Christ in Akron,
CO, where for many years she taught Sunday school and vacation Bible
school. Ramona served on the election board for 40 years, the
Washington County Hospital Board for eight years, and the ASCS board
for three years as the first female board member. For 19 years, she
volunteered for the .
Ramona enjoyed crocheting, embroidery work, a clean house, cooking,
baking, socializing, and a good cup of coffee. On any given day, she
might be found eating lunch at the café in Otis, sneaking away on a
shopping spree to Sterling, or cheering on her grandchildren at a
sporting event. She had a remarkable knack for hospitality, always
making people feel welcome and comfortable.
"Nonie," as her grandchildren affectionately called her, devoted
countless hours of support to her son-in-law Leland and her
grandchildren following the death of her daughter Denise in 1999. She
regularly greeted her grandchildren as they arrived home from school
activities with a warm meal and assisted with the family's household
tasks. Her selflessness was an invaluable gift to them.
Ramona was preceded in death by her husband, Duane, her parents,
Calvin and Addie Wiggins, and her five siblings (Glenna, Argil,
Sibyl, Gerald, and Dillard). She lost her son, Robert, in an airplane
accident in 1974 and her daughter, Denise (Harris) Willeke, in 1999 to
Ramona is survived by her oldest son John and wife Elaine of Boulder,
CO, and their children: Julie and husband Jesse Chatham
(great-grandchildren Ramona and Sylvie), Amy and husband Josh Jackson,
Robert Harris, and Mark Harris; son-in-law Leland Willeke of Otis, CO,
and his children: Jordan Willeke and wife Jennifer
(great-grandchildren Jack, Madelyn, Lydia and Avery), Jennifer and
husband Justin Bentzinger (great-grandchild Clare), Briana and husband
James Fipp (great-grandchildren Addison and Thomas), and Evan Willeke
and wife Jessica; and her sister-in-law Sue Wiggins.
Ramona lived a full and faithful life. She will be fondly remembered
by her family as a woman of incredible generosity and tremendous
A funeral service was held Saturday, February 7, 2015 at the First
Presbyterian Church of Otis. Interment followed at the Otis Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to the Washington County Nursing Home,
the , or the ALS Association.
Published in Akron News-Reporter on Feb. 11, 2015
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