Cover photo for James Anderson Harner's Obituary
James Anderson Harner Profile Photo

James Anderson Harner

November 11, 1932 — April 21, 2023

Luverne, Minnesota

James Anderson Harner

James Anderson Harner was born on November 11, 1932 in a blinding snowstorm to George and Violet (Anderson) Harner in Swea Township, Iowa. He was baptized on April 10, 1933 at the United Methodist Church in Swea City, Iowa. Jim began his education at a local country school. He would later attend Swea City Consolidated Schools where he loved playing basketball and graduated in 1951. In 1953, Jim was drafted into the United States Army. He spent two years as a radio operator in Germany and France. He received his honorable discharge in June of 1955 and enrolled at Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa where he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1959. Jim met his future wife at college and on August 6, 1960, he was united in marriage to Delores Schultz at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Mason City, Iowa. Jim and Dee both taught at Grundy Center Community School in Grundy Center, Iowa from 1960 to 1962. In the summer of 1961, the couple would spend three months traveling in Europe. Jim attended Colorado State College in Greeley, Colorado for his MA and specialist degrees. In 1964, he took the position as high school principal at Wykoff Community School in Wykoff, Minnesota. He was the high school principal at Zumbrota Community School in Zumbrota, Minnesota for three years before relocating to Luverne, Minnesota in 1971, where he would be employed at Luverne Public Schools as the high school principal for the next 22 years. Jim semi-retired in 1993. He continued his teaching career as a defensive driving instructor covering the upper Midwest traveling throughout Minnesota, South Dakota, Iowa and North Dakota. He officially retired in August of 2020.

Jim was a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Luverne. He held several positions within the church and community. He was involved with the men’s Bible study, church counsel, and served as Congregation President for two years. He was a member of the Luverne Rotary Club where he would hold the position of District Chair of the Rotary Youth Exchange Program and received the Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship Award, both in 1989. He was a member of the American Legion and performed the duties of the Legion Honor Guard. He sat on the board of directors for the Southwest Mental Health Center (10 years), RCO, City Planning and Zoning, Mary Jane Brown Good Samaritan Center, and the Sanford Hospital. He was the Chairperson of the Community Education Committee and the Sanford Clinic Advisory Board. In his spare time, he enjoyed building things, making a go-kart and a motorbike, fishing on the Missouri River, hunting, and gardening. Jim and Dee traveled extensively, visiting all 50 states and many countries. Jim was honored to be a part of an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. in 2020.

On Friday, April 21, 2023 while at the Good Samaritan Society – Mary Jane Brown Home, Jim died peacefully at the age of 90 years, 5 months and 10 days.

Jim is lovingly remembered by his wife, Dee of Luverne; three children, Bradley Harner of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Pamela (Joe) Van Erem of DePere, Wisconsin, and Cynthia Harner of St. Cloud, Minnesota; nine grandchildren, Elizabeth (Neal) Elms, Brittany (Derek) Schrock, Danielle Van Erem, Tyler, Max, and Tori Harner Helm, Greg and Chris Harner, and Jennifer (Zak) Karn; five great-grandchildren, Violet and Haddon Elms, Elia, Avery, and Mabel Schrock; and siblings, June (Merlin) Beckler of Tipton, Iowa and David (Denise) Harner of Swea City, Iowa. He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Violet; and a brother, Merlin “Sonny” Harner.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to a charity of the donor’s choice.

To send flowers to the family in memory of James Anderson Harner, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, April 29, 2023

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

Grace Lutheran Church - Luverne

500 N. Kniss Ave., Luverne, MN 56156

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Memorial Service

Saturday, April 29, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

Grace Lutheran Church - Luverne

500 N. Kniss Ave., Luverne, MN 56156

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Graveside Service

Monday, May 1, 2023

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

South Dakota Veterans' Cemetery

25965 477th Avenue, Sioux Falls, SD 57104

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