Genevieve F. Harmon


Posted: Friday, July 29, 2005

Longtime Juneau resident Genevieve "Gen" F. Harmon, 94, died Monday, July 25, 2005, at the Juneau Pioneers Home.

She was born April 18, 1911, in Durand, Wis. She graduated from Durand High School in 1929 and went on to graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1933 with a bachelor of education degree and a major in music. In August 1936 she married her childhood sweetheart, Henry A. "Hank" Harmon, and the couple moved to Juneau, where they raised their three sons. She taught in the Juneau Public Schools and at St. Ann's Catholic School and was very active in her community and church.

She was particularly involved with Juneau's art and music community. She performed and taught piano and voice lessons in her home to hundreds of Juneauites for more than 40 years. She was one of the original members of the Juneau Symphony Orchestra, playing the violin. She was a talented painter, focusing mostly on watercolors and oil paints, and also enjoyed batik and pottery. Her passion for the arts extended to her long-time involvement in many of Juneau's art organizations, including the Juneau-Douglas Concert Association, President of the Alaska Potters Association and President of the Alaska Arts and Crafts Council.

Additionally, she participated in many civic organizations. She was appointed by the state legislature to plan for the 100th anniversary of Alaska's purchase from Russia, and helped organize the building of the Alaska State Museum to coincide with the centennial celebration in 1967. In addition, she served on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the State Museum, and was a member of the Pioneers of Alaska, the American Association of University Women, the League of American Pen women and the Juneau Retired Teachers Association.

Her family wrote that she, "embodied the values of a true Alaskan with a love of hunting, fishing, hiking and the outdoors. She was very proud of her state and loved her home in Juneau with all it had to offer. Gen was also known as a excellent cook, gracious hostess, and a friendly and outgoing person. After the death of her beloved husband Hank in 1981, she continued to travel the world, visit family and friends and enjoy the life the good Lord gave her. She said she was never going to be a wallflower, and she never was."

She is survived by her brother, Frank Schlumpf of Durand; sons, James J. Harmon of Olympia, Wash., Joseph H. Harmon of Girdwood, Alaska, and Patrick H. Harmon of Juneau; seven grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

A Rosary service is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 29, at the Cathedral of the Nativity. There will be a funeral Mass at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 30, also at the Cathedral of the Nativity, followed by a celebration of her life at the Parish Hall next door at approximately 12:30 p.m. All friends and family are invited to attend.

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