Melba Jo Harmer, 91, a longtime resident of Shinnston, went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday May 29, 2019 at the home of her devoted caretaker, Sherry Sellers. She was born on September 19, 1927 in Fairmont WV, to the late George Edward Yates and Hazel Bell Cooper Yates.
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Melba Jo was preceded in death by her husband David J. Harmer who passed away October 2, 2005; her son-in-law Richard Zirkle; and her brother-in-law Robert Rector.
She is survived by her daughter Eve Zirkle of Shinnston, son Jay Harmer and his wife Pam of Shinnston, daughter Gwen Kerns and her husband Gary of Elkins, and daughter Leslie Haning and her husband Steve of Clarksburg: grandchildren Miranda Buckhannon and her husband Steve, Courtney Rogers and her husband Derek, Jeremy Harmer, Jacob Harmer and his wife Chelsy, Paige and Hayley Haning, Alissa and Jared Kerns: great-grandchildren Kennedy Linville, Kohen Harmer, Prea Buckhannon, Laine Rogers and Cooper Harmer; her sister-in-law Elizabeth Rector; nephew Mark Rector and wife Susan, all of Wilmington, Delaware and several cousins.
Melba Jo was a 1944 graduate of Washington Irving High School and a 1948 graduate of Ohio University where she served as Head Cheerleader. She was active in Pi Beta Phi sorority and graduated with a BS Degree in Education. At the age of 19, she began her teaching career at Summit Park Junior High School as Miss Yates.
In 1951, she married David J. Harmer and moved to Orlando, Florida where he completed his military service. Afterwards, they moved to Pittsburgh, PA where she was employed as a Home Economist for Hope Gas Company. Upon returning to Shinnston, Melba Jo and Dave started their family and became life-long residents.
In 1975, after raising her family, she returned as a substitute teacher for Harrison County Board of Education. She retired at the age of 82. Melba Jo was a 65 year member of First United Methodist Church of Shinnston, active in the choir, and as communion steward, as well as original organizer for the annual Mother-Daughter Banquet which is still held today.
She was an active member of Woman’s Club of Shinnston for over 60 years. Melba Jo volunteered for many community service organizations including the Shinnston Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary, the Clarksburg League for Service, Shinnston and Lincoln Band Boosters, Athletic Boosters, Boy and Girl Scout Troops, as well as the Shinnston Swim Team. She loved playing golf and was an avid bridge player.
Friends will be received at the Harmer Funeral Home, 300 Pike Street, Shinnston WV on Friday
May 31, 2019 from 1:00 PM to 8:00 PM. A funeral service will be conducted at the First United Methodist Church; 64 Rebecca St. Shinnston on Saturday June 1, 2019, at 11:00 AM with Rev. Cindy Boggs and Pastor Kevin Nuzum officiating, interment will follow at the Shinnston Memorial Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to First United Methodist Church at 64 Rebecca St. Shinnston, WV 26431.
Online memories and condolences may be shared at firstname.lastname@example.org
A service of Harmer Funeral Home, Shinnston.