Pembroke- Mrs. Elizabeth Ward Harn, age 95, passed away Sunday, July 13, 2014 at her home while surrounded by her family and friends. Mrs. Harn was born in Columbus, GA on February 24, 1919, the daughter of James Sherman Nickerson and Theo Franklin Nickerson. Soon thereafter, Mr. Nickerson died during the influenza epidemic, having seen his daughter only once. Mrs. Theo married Mr. Harry Evans Ward of Macon and Elizabeth and her mother moved to Macon to make their home. Mr. Ward became a father to Elizabeth, interested in her development and education, so much so that, while never legally adopting her, it was his name that appeared on all her education records.
Mrs. Harn attended Bibb County Schools, graduating from A.L. Miller High School in 1937. For the next two years she attended Young Harris College with the aid of a working scholarship. These were the days of the Great Depression and students at Young Harris considered themselves lucky to be chosen as members of the summer working gang. These young people spent the summer on campus, washing windows, oiling floors, canning, dressing chickens, and processing fruits. They rose at six o’clock in the morning and their work was usually completed soon after lunch.
Equipped with a Provisional Teacher’s Certificate, Mrs. Harn began her teaching career in a small school in rural Bacon County. It was hard to say who learned more that year, the students or Elizabeth. She learned how to prime a pump, how to balance a state attendance register and what happens when firecrackers are placed in a pot-bellied stove.
After her marriage to J. Dixie Harn on March19, 1942, Elizabeth accepted a teaching position at Bryan County High School. She completed thirty-seven years sabbatical when the Harn’s son, Jim was born. During her years of teaching, Elizabeth did summer work at Georgia Teachers College and obtained her B.S. in Elementary Education and a Master of Education from Georgia Southern College.
Through the years Elizabeth has been active in the Pembroke United Methodist Church and particularly in women’s work, serving at times on a district level. She had also worked in the Georgia Association of Educators and is past state program chairman. Mrs. Harn was a member of Delta Kappa Gama and of the Bryan County Retired Teachers. She loved to read and write and was a great organizer. This was very evident when she served as chairperson for the Centennial Celebration of Pembroke in 2005 and in her assistance in the writing of The History of Bryan County 1793 – 1985.
Mrs. Harn was predeceased by her husband, James Dixie Harn, Sr. Survivors include her son and daughter-in-law James Dixie “Jim” Harn, Jr. and Gayle K. Harn; grandchildren Keith Carpenter and Camden and Stacey Carpenter; great grandchildren, Hailee, Ethan, Evie and Asher Carpenter; sister-in-law Joanna Ward and niece and nephew, Terry and Allen Ward.
Visitation will be held 5-8 P.M. Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at the funeral home. Funeral service will be 11 A.M. Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at Pembroke United Methodist Church with Rev. Matt Avera officiating. Interment will follow in Northside Cemetery. Flanders Morrison Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.