Erma J. Harsch (1924 - 2018)

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May 3, 1924 -
October 25, 2018

A memorial service will be held November 1st, 2018, 3:00 PM at Grace Lutheran Church in Eugene Oregon for Erma Jean Dawson Harsch. She was 94 years old.

Jean was born May 3rd, 1924 in Abilene, Kansas to James William and Ginevra Bogart Dawson, the youngest of nine children.

Jean attended Abilene schools and was the first of her siblings to graduate high school in the class of 1942.

Jean met a farmer named Harold Harsch. Their courtship continued through her 18th birthday and they were married the following July.

Married life began by joining Harold's parents and young sisters on the Harsch family farm. Daughters Janet and Patty and son Dennis were born in Kansas.

Faith, work and dreams were foremost in the couple's life. Harold had discovered the beauty of the Northwest and Tillamook became their new home and they added daughter Judy to the family.

The dream of owning a business together did. They purchased a roller-skating business in Ellensburg, Washington. Here parents and children could live and work together in one place. The Harschs built and operated the Rolladium roller skating rink in Springfield, Oregon.

After many successful years operating the business in Springfield, they and son Dennis built another roller skating rink in north Eugene, named the Big Wheel Skate Center. Throughout many years families and kids enjoyed happy hours meeting, greeting and laughing with friends while singing and skating to Rock and Roll music.

After they retired, Harold and Jean traveled roads near and far throughout the United States, as well as Europe, Israel, Egypt, China. They spent winter months as snowbirds, toasting in sunshine and condo life in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Along with years of travel came 8 grandchildren. Daughter Janet and son-in-law Nick Richmond had Merrick and Ginevra. Daughter Patty and son-in-law Marc Burgess had sons Mike and Scott. Daughter Judy and son-in-law Zane Mason had daughters Heather and Becky. Son Dennis and daughter-in-law Kris had daughter Heidi and son Travis.

Holidays were memorable affairs centered around worship here at Grace and family gatherings designed to delight children of all ages at the Harsch home.

The family grew to include 12 great-grandchildren to delight the great grandparents. The children's interests provided opportunities to attend their events - sports, drama and music.

Harold's health began to decline and he was on dialysis for 10 years. Jean was his caregiver and advocate.

On sleepless nights Jean broke out her sewing machine to fashion school tote bags for Lutheran World Relief. She made hundreds every year and filled them with school materials.

Harold and Jean were married 62 years sharing the good and difficult times of life. Harold passed away in 2004.

Survivors of Jean Harsch are children: Janet (Nick) Richmond, Patty (Marc) Burgess, Dennis (Janey Dale) Harsch, Judy (Zane) Mason; grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Merrick Richmond, Tiger lily Richmond, Ginevra Richmond, Hannah Carmickle, Mike Burgess, Makenna Burgess, Matthew Burgess, Scott Burgess, Austin Crowson-Burgess, Mason Crowson-Burgess, Heather Mason, Evee Garland, Nate Garland, Becky Mason, Travis Harsch, Heidi Harsch, Braden Melnik, Chase Melnik, Landon Melnik, and Sophia Melnik

Jeans brothers: Elvin, Fletcher, Harry and sisters: Ellen, Pauline, Geraldine, Marie and Iva Dawson; and parents J.W. and Ginvera Dawson are all deceased.

The family would like to thank the staff and caregivers at Rawlins Memory Care for their encouragement and kindness to our Mother.

We thank God for the long life he granted our Mother. She showed us wisdom and courage as she lived her life and we pray our Lord grants us the same for each of us.

Religious Service Information
Grace Lutheran Church
710 E 17th Ave
Eugene, OR 97401
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Published in Eugene Register-Guard on Oct. 31, 2018