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Shirley D. Harms

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Shirley D. Harms Obituary
"The Flag Lady" SHIRLEY D. HARMS September 4 1921 June 21, 2013 Shirley Dene (Haack) Harms, age 91 and long time resident of Wildomar, passed away peacefully on Friday, June 21, 2013 in Irvine, CA after suffering a stroke. Born September 4, 1921 in Nelsonville, NY to Eva Mary (Kelley) and William Henry Haack, she grew up in Fredonia, NY with younger sister Hattie, and graduated from Fredonia State Teachers College in June, 1943. She taught elementary school in Cattaraugus, NY until moving to California in 1948 to marry Albert "Doug" Douglas Harms. Shirley and Doug settled in Canoga Park in the San Fernando Valley in 1953. Doug had a long career with the Los Angeles County Fire Dept. and Shirley taught in several elementary schools. Shirley enjoyed sewing, crafts and decorating her home. She shared Doug's love of music and took classes at the local college. They loved to travel in their trailer all over the U.S., into Canada, Alaska, and to Fredonia, NY for Shirley's 50th high school reunion. She loved crafting her own elaborate greeting cards that arrived promptly for every occasion. When both Shirley and Doug had retired by 1973 they moved first to Laguna Beach, then Fallbrook, before coming to Wildomar in 1981. They became very involved in the Murrieta United Methodist Church. They joined the Lions and Lionesses and held many leadership positions. Shirley was a charter member of the Murrieta Lions Club, and was awarded a Life Membership and a Melvin Jones Fellowship. She also served as Director and President of Loma Linda Lions Eye Foundation. Doug lovingly called Shirley "old helium hand" because whenever volunteers were sought, her hand would go floating up. But, Shirley's pride and joy was the Flag Program she and Doug developed for the Lions and nurtured for 30 years. They presented the history of the American flag to an estimated 20,000 school children and 1,000 adults throughout Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Doug passed away in 1999, but Shirley continued with the program until she was almost 90 years old in 2011. For service to her country and her community, Shirley was selected by the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge to receive the George Washington Honor Medal in 2010. She did make a difference and will be missed. Shirley was predeceased by her beloved husband of 51 years in 1999, but continued to be very active. She was truly remarkable with her cheerful disposition, positive attitude, tremendous intellect, determination, enthusiasm and extraordinary capacity for conversation. She is survived by her daughters Lindsey Davis and Kristin Harms; her grandchildren William Davis, Cate Burke, John Davis, Gwenyth Davis and Douglas Davis; her great grandchildren Jack, Miles and Lilah; her sister Hattie Parks; sister-in-law Joyce Sidnam; and many nieces and nephews. The memorial service is Tuesday, July 2 at 11 am at the Murrieta United Methodist Church, 24652 Adams Avenue, Murrieta, CA 92562. Reception immediately following at the church. Shirley will be interred along side her husband at Riverside National Cemetery. Donations to the Lions in lieu of flowers would be greatly appreciated. Make checks payable to Murrieta Lions. Note that the donation is in the name of Shirley Harms and send to: Murrieta Lions Club, P.O. Box 904, Murrieta, CA 92564.
Published in Press-Enterprise on June 29, 2013
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