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Delores Harner

Delores “Dee” Ann Harner, of Luverne, Minnesota, passed away peacefully on Sunday, Aug. 13, 2023, while residing at the Sanford Hospice Cottage in Luverne.
A visitation will be at Grace Lutheran Church in Luverne on Saturday, Aug. 19, from 1-2 p.m. with a memorial service to begin at 2 p.m. Burial will be at the South Dakota Veterans Cemetery on Monday, Aug. 21 at 10 a.m.  To sign an online registry, please visit
Delores “Dee” Ann Harner was born Sept. 13, 1933, to Edwin and Lottie (Willis) Schultz in Mason City, Iowa. She was baptized on Jan. 7, 1934, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Mason City. She received her confirmation of faith on May 25, 1947, at Trinity Lutheran Church. She graduated from Mason City High School in 1951 and Mason City Junior College in 1953. From 1953 to 1960 she taught in Rockford, Iowa, Clear Lake, Iowa, and Albert Lea, Minnesota, while continuing her education. She spent the summer of 1954 working at the horse racing track in Denver, Colorado.
While taking classes at Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa, she met Jim who was continuing his education. The summer of 1960 she received her Bachelor of Arts degree from UIU. Dee and Jim were married Aug. 6, 1960.  She then went to teach in Grundy Center, Iowa, where Jim was teaching.
The summer of 1961, Dee and Jim spent three months traveling in Europe. She taught in Greeley, Colorado, while Jim was completing his graduate studies. They then moved back to the Midwest where Jim was a high school principal in Wykoff, Minnesota, and then Zumbrota, Minnesota, before taking a high school principal position in Luverne, Minnesota (1971).
Dee spent a number of years raising their family before taking a teaching position in the Hills-Beaver Creek, Minnesota, schools. She also taught GED classes in Luverne. While teaching she continued her education, receiving her Master’s Degree (1981) in Special Education and in EBD (emotional-behavioral disorders) from the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. She continued her post-graduate work at Mankato State College in Early Childhood Special Education. She utilized this in establishing the Early Childhood Special Education program in Hills-Beaver Creek.
Dee was a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Luverne. She was active in Bible study, Circle, the knitting group, teaching Bible School and Sunday School, and held various church office positions. She was a member of the Tourist Club, a Girl Scouts and 4-H leader, and helped with Meals on Wheels. Dee enjoyed reading, book clubs, bridge clubs, gardening and flowers, crafts, sewing, knitting, crocheting, and needlework. She loved camping as a family. She cherished family time and made it a routine to read aloud (innumerable children’s stories, books, and classics) to her children before bedtime. Sunday nights were set aside to relax by the fireplace eating popcorn and watching Disney on the television.
Dee and Jim traveled extensively throughout their marriage, visiting all 50 states and many countries. Dee and Jim enjoyed catching “live theater” performances throughout their travels. 
Dee is lovingly remembered by her 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 Helm, Greg, Jennifer, and Chris Harner; five great-grandchildren, Violet Elms, Haddie Elms, Elia Schrock, Avery Schrock, and Mabel Schrock; and sisters Beverly Hall of Sioux City, Iowa, and Maxine Hull of Mason City.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Jim; parents Edwin and Lottie; brothers Larry, Arden, Caroll, and Ronald Schultz; sister Marjorie Miller; and brothers-in-law George Hall and Perry Hull.
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