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IN MEMORIAM: Dorothy Harms

Dorothy Fast Harms was the middle of five children born to Daniel and Elizabeth (Martens) Fast on Sept. 15, 1916, in Hillsboro, Kansas. She passed away 99 years 1 month later on Oct. 15, 2015, in Corvallis, Oregon.

Dot was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Wesley “Wes” Harms; three brothers, Edwin “Ed”, Herbert “Herb”, and Albert; a sister, Mathilda “Tillie”; and two great-granddaughters.

She leaves behind a son and daughter-in-law, Darryl and Patricia (White) Harms, Corvallis, Oregon; daughter and son-in-law, Wanette and Gary Richards, Monmouth, Oregon; daughter and son-in-law, Sandy and Eric Pena, Stockton Springs, Maine; 11 grandchildren; numerous great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews; and a multitude of friends. She will be greatly missed by the many people who loved her.

Until her preteen years, the family remained in Kansas, but during the Great Depression they moved to Salem, Oregon, and then to Aberdeen, Idaho, a Mennonite community, in search of work. From the age of 13, Dot did what she could to help support her family, taking jobs in canneries and keeping house for others.

This necessity of life left little time for a formal education. Not to be discouraged, she graduated from high school by taking correspondence courses and eventually completed two years of college.

In the late 1930s, Dot, no longer a teenager, returned with her family to Oregon, this time to Corvallis. She didn’t leave behind all of what she’d loved in Kansas, though. After a few years of correspondence, Wesley Harms, with whom she had become acquainted in her hometown, followed her westward. On June 15, 1941, they wed and enjoyed 47 years of marriage together until Wes’s death in 1989.

Dot was active in the Corvallis community during the 70-plus years that she lived there. She was involved in several capacities at the First Baptist Church of Corvallis. She also helped on social committees and sang in the choir. And, although she enjoyed many things, including cooking for family gatherings and playing Scrabble with whomsoever would accept the challenge, she placed the highest importance on sharing her Christian beliefs and professing her faith in the Lord.

At Dorothy’s request, a private graveside memorial service was held on Tuesday, Oct. 27, at Twin Oaks Memorial Gardens, Albany, Oregon.

Last modified Nov. 24, 2015

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