Betty A. Harris, 91, of Fort Dodge, Iowa, passed away Tuesday, July 7, 2020, at Willow Gardens Care Center in Marion, Iowa. In spite of her long-determined spirit, she lost her battle with Alzheimer's disease. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Burial will take place at Rose Hill Cemetery in Eagle Grove, Iowa. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Gunderson Funeral Home in Fort Dodge.
Thoughts, memories and condolences may be shared with them at www.gundersonfuneralhome.com. Memorials may be directed to Mercy Hospice in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Betty was born July 7, 1929, in Eagle Grove, Iowa, the daughter of Jesse and Goldie Agard. She graduated from Eagle Grove High School in 1947. She attended
one year of community college. Her first
job was as a secretary for an insurance agent in Renwick, Iowa. It was in Renwick where she met her husband. On Sept. 20, 1948, she was united in marriage to Duane (Phil) Harris. They shared 57 years of marriage. He later passed in 2005.
After their marriage, they moved to Des Moines and Betty became a telephone operator. Upon completion of Phil's training, they moved to Fort Dodge for his job with Goodyear. Betty experienced various jobs. Her proudest employment was as a nurse's aide. She enjoyed her position in health care and comforting people. Betty's hobbies were numerous, crossword puzzles and knitting mittens. She was also a savvy card player. She enjoyed summer and tended a small flower garden in the backyard. She also enjoyed watching wrens who faithfully built nests each spring in the hollow clothesline post. When weather was to her favor, she was known to go walking and visit her friends. Together, Betty and Phil enjoyed square dancing, camping and fishing trips.
Iowa winters became harder to endure as the years passed. "Selling it all" and trying Texas was greatly debated. They had been longtime residents in Fort Dodge, and the snowy season forced them to stay indoors far too long. Betty and Phil took the plunge and retired to McAllen, Texas. They took up residence in Trophy Gardens Park and found what they were looking for - Fun and Sun. Betty suddenly added new hobbies. She continued her walking hobby and became a social butterfly. She took up golf, got a hole in one and laid up her clubs. She became a good cribbage player and experienced a perfect hand. She took up pool and belonged to Pool Hall Babes. She never missed bingo or Saturday night dances. She discovered the hobby of stained glass. She collected angels. Betty was honored to serve as queen of her Red Hat group in Trophy Gardens. She collected teddy bears to donate to children in McAllen who were hospitalized. However, her claim to fame were her angel food cakes she made for every potluck supper at Trophy Gardens Park. Her second claim to fame was life as a "Winter Texan." Trophy Gardens had many "snowbird" residents representing many states, including Canada, and she welcomed each and every one.
Betty led a very fulfilled and active life during her 91 years. She walked her earthly journey with much grace, beauty, kindness, strength and love. Betty made friends easily and enjoyed life. She always carried a smile on her face.
Betty is survived by her daughter, Judy (Tom) Peek, their son Derek (Amanda), and daughter, Elizabeth (Jake) Worsham, and great-grandsons, Nathan and Everett; Betty's nephews, Denny (Kathy) Jergenson, Dick Jorgensen, John (Sue) Jergenson and Randy Jergenson; sister-in-law, Kay Agard and daughter Deb; sister-in-law, Virginia Harris; and half sister, Mary Newsum.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Phil; brother, Roger, and his daughter, Becky; a half sister, Helen Jergenson; and nieces and nephew, Mardell (Jergenson) Jaskolski, Bonnie (Jergenson) Hill and Ronnie Jergenson.
The family would like to express their sincere appreciation to Willow Gardens Care Facility and Staff, and Mercy of Hospice. Thank you for your kindness, and dedicated care. You were the Angels she believed in. God bless all of you.