Norma Edith (Whitney) Harms


The spirit of Norma Edith (Whitney) Harms left this mortal life at the age of 94 on Tuesday, May 14, the 39th anniversary of the passing of her husband Carl.   
She was born on Feb. 18, 1925, in Nashua, N.H., the daughter of Edgar and Edith Bell Whitney.   
Norma married Carl Edwin Harms in Philadelphia on Nov. 18, 1945, and moved to Springfield, Ill., shortly after “Daddy” completed his service in the U.S. Army.  
By 1960, their bungalow on Douglas Street was bursting at the seams with four sons and two daughters, so a sturdy brick home was built on 13 acres surrounded by creeks, timber and farmland.  “Rural Route 6” proved to be an idyllic setting for a steady stream of childhood adventures, punctuated by birthdays, family picnics, receptions and holiday dinners.
Norma was preceded in death by husband Carl in 1980; daughter Susan (James) Ledden in 2017; infant son  Charles in 1960; daughter-in-law Kathy (David) Harms in 2017; sisters June Minor, Mary Bulens, Gloria Hudon and Anna Woodbury and brother Everett Nash.
First and foremost a capable and caring mother, Norma is survived by her children John E. (Patricia) Harms, James E. (Wanda Parbs) Harms, Carl David (Kathy, deceased) Harms, Mark A. (Donna) Harms — all of Springfield, Ill. — and Joyce Whitney Harms of Port Washington; and son-in-law, James A. (Susan, deceased) Ledden of Portage, Mich.
“Grammy” is also survived by 10 grandchildren, Aaron, Carrie, Becky, Cindy, Ben, Adam, Luke, Brian, Jason and Kevin; six great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews; and in-laws Robert and Geraldine (Harms) Gasaway of Springfield.
“Mommy” was glad that she and Carl managed to allow her to be a stay-at-home mother until her youngest daughter started school, and she was proud that all six children graduated from college.
Norma was a prolific knitter, an avid reader and a gifted gardener throughout her life. In spite of diminishing eyesight and increasing dementia in later years, she continued to “talk knitting” with her dear friend Roseann, enjoyed listening to books on tape and helped plant a final crop of tomatoes in the greenhouse at her Cedarburg long-term care home.
Norma worked for the State of Illinois, retiring in 1997 after over 30 years of service.  
She was a member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, had been a longtime volunteer usher at UIS (Sangamon) Performing Arts Center and held memberships in both the Springfield Craft and Ceramic Club and Red Hat Society.  
Visitation and memorial services will be held in Springfield, Ill., at Bisch Funeral Home on June 8 at 9:30 and 10:30 a.m., respectively, followed by interment at Farmington Cemetery.  Her life will be honored privately in Wisconsin.  
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Ozaukee County Alzheimer’s Association (Wisconsin), and Mary Bryant Home for the Blind (Springfield).  
They also extend their heartfelt thanks to the staff at both Lasata Senior Living Community and Compassus Hospice, who helped fill Norma’s final weeks and days with compassionate and loving care.




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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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