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In Memory

Genevieve M Eklund (Harris)

March 17, 1920 - December 25, 2018

Genevieve Marie (Eklund) Harris, age 98 of Charleston and formerly of South Bend, Indiana, joined her husband, Reverend Birt Harris in their heavenly home on Christmas Day (December 25, 2018).  The Memorial Service honoring and celebrating her life will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 29, 2018 at First Presbyterian Church, 311 Seventh Street in Charleston with Reverend Mary Wright officiating.   In lieu of flowers, gifts in her honor may be made to First Presbyterian Church and mailed to the church or in care of Adams Funeral Chapel, 2330 Shawnee Dr., Charleston, IL 61920.

Genevieve was born March 17, 1920 in Lindsborg, Kansas, the daughter of the late Elvin E. and Anna (Johnson) Eklund.  She graduated high school in Smolan, Kansas and attained a bachelor’s degree from Bethany College in Lindsborg and a master’s degree from Indiana University, South Bend, Indiana.  She was a high school English teacher in South Bend and following her formal retirement, continued to educate as a substitute teacher until age 86.

Genevieve married Reverend Birt Harris in Flint, Michigan on July 4, 1945 and she was married to Birt, who referred to her as “his beloved”, for nearly 60 years prior to his death on April 4, 2005.  In addition to being a teacher, she was supportive of her husband and his ministry, partnering with him in establishing new Lutheran congregations in Jamestown, New York, New Prague, Minnesota and South Bend, Indiana.  Genevieve made Charleston her home twelve years ago and has been actively involved as a member of First Presbyterian Church.  Genevieve was truly the matriarch of her family and their biggest champion.  As a woman of faith, who was dedicated to God and to her family, her daily devotions and talks with God always included prayers for her loved ones.

Genevieve leaves a wonderful and loving family which includes her daughters, Coy (Harris) Scheetz of Kalamazoo, Michigan, Gaye (Harris) Harrison of Charleston and Dawn (Harris) Randall and husband Mark of Malibu, California; two granddaughters, Shannon (Scheetz) Nutt and husband Jim of Kalamazoo and Genevieve (Harrison) Koester and husband Smith of Chicago; two great-grandchildren, Everett and Claire Koester; and a nephew and niece and their families, Kent (Katherine) Eklund of Minneapolis, Minnesota and Joan (Jon) Jacobs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her brother, Emmett Eklund.  They will cherish their many memories of this amazing mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and aunt, who was so dearly loved.


12/27/2018 JFC