Barbara Lee McNutt Harkness, 91, of Kent died Wednesday, September 26th. Born in Columbus Ohio in 1927, she lived the last almost fifty years of her life in Kent, with sojourns in Merida Mexico, Paris, New York, England and too many others to recount. Ferociously independent and tenacious, she never really retired. She just found or made new callings. Never afraid to fail, she most often succeeded. Her life was rich and stuffed to the gills; her roles as wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, anthropologist at Kent State University, day trader!, master gardener, accomplished chef, pilates devote (at 85), church deacon, and playwright brought achievement, intellectual growth, and-always-friends.
Preceding her in death was her husband, Bruce Harkness, her beloved son Jimmy White, and two stepsons, Stephen and Michael Bruce Harkness. Left both to celebrate and to mourn: from Phoenix, Mark and Jaime Harkness, grandson, Aidan, from Richmond, Marguerite Harkness, from Cincinnati, Laura Harkness and Dennis Kirley, grandchildren Rachel Kirley and Joseph Jaquette, David Kirley, and Mary Sarah Kirley; from Seattle, Jonathan and Marie-Anne (Kritzer) Harkness, her grandchildren Lauren Ruth Harkness and Jason and Elisabeth Harkness, her great grandchildren, Noah and Nathan Harkness, and from Merida, Willy (Marytere) Rubio, Gregorio (Josefina) Rubio, Joseli Rubio (Eddie) Fetyko and now of Streetsboro Manolo Rubio.
And eight double closets of size two clothing, a collection she labeled "sinful."
Her gift for friendship throughout her life creates mourners and celebrants as varied a 18 year old girl and retired playwrights, the members of her church family at the Kent United Church of Christ, the Garden Club of Portage County, neighbors in Sugar Bush Knolls, the playwrights of Ensemble Theater, Cleveland, and myriad people her family may never know. We thank all of you for your friendships and many kindnesses
Funeral services will be held at the Kent United Church of Christ, 1400 E. Main Street, Kent on Saturday, October 6 at 11 am. In lieu of flowers, we ask you to consider a donation to your favorite charity, or to the Ensemble Theatre of Cleveland, or to the Phyllis Zumkehr County Clothing Center of Ravenna where she volunteered or to the UCC.
Burial will be private in Columbus Ohio. Bissler & Sons Funeral Home are handling the arrangements.
OCT 6. 11:00 AM
Kent United Church of Christ
1400 E. Main Street
Kent, OH, 44240