Cover photo for Owen E. Harner's Obituary
Owen E. Harner Profile Photo

Owen E. Harner

June 18, 1929 — October 14, 2023


Owen E. Harner

Owen Early Harner, 94, passed away peacefully on Saturday, October 14, 2023, in Bridgewater. He was born on June 18, 1929, to Ray Owen and Hazel (Early) Harner. He graduated from New Hope High School and attended Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia. On June 23, 1948, he was married to Dolly Garber who survives.

His love for his family knew no bounds, as he was a loving husband to Dolly for 75 years, and father to five children: Sharon Dyer (Andy), Susan Coffman (Jerry), Teresa Barr, James Harner (Connie), and Michael Harner (Lavonne), grandfather to fourteen grandchildren: Chris Tuttle, Nikki Cridlebaugh, Tom Dyer, Amye Bergman, Alison Markow, Matt Coffman, Lindsey Barr, Amanda Barr, Tasha Harner, Ariana Holly, Dillon Harner, Kristine Harner, Angela Harner and Bradley Harner; and great-grandfather to 13 great-grandchildren: Tilman, Rowan and Emily Cridlebaugh, Nicolas, William, and Alex Bergman, Isaac, Wyatt, Emma and Jenna Markow, Nora and Eva Layne, Jackson Holly, and two more coming in the next few months; and numerous nieces and nephews. His love and warmth were a constant source of joy for his family.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Joan Gosnell; a brother, Philip Harner; and a son-in-law, Johnnie Barr.

Owen embodied an “attitude of gratitude”, always appreciative of the care he received at Bridgewater Retirement Community. He had a witty sense of humor that brightened the lives of those around him. He was not only known for his warm personality but also for his literary contributions as the author of “The History of New Hope”. His passion for history extended beyond his writing, as he was a dedicated historian who preserved the stories of his community for future generations.

In his spare time, Owen was an avid restorer of antique cars, and his craftsmanship was rewarded at car shows and parades. He lived simply and was a hardworking handyman, a skill he generously shared with his family and others.

Owen was a lifelong member and respected leader at New Hope United Methodist Church. His dedication extended to the broader community where he served as an organizer and a doer for many church committees, fundraising dinners, scoutmaster, and community activities, including the ceremonial closing of the New Hope Elementary School. Additionally, Owen was a volunteer at Augusta Health for many years, providing comfort to those in need.

Professionally, Owen was a teacher at Crimora Elementary School and retired as supervisor from DuPont after 27 years. He also held the position of President at the New Hope Telephone Company and served on the Board of Directors for New Hope Bank, illustrating his commitment to the local business community.

Owen’s legacy of kindness, love, and unwavering dedication to his community and loved ones will be remembered and cherished forever. His memory will continue to inspire all who knew him, and he will be deeply missed by family, friends, and the entire community.

The family would like to extend a sincere appreciation to Bridgewater Retirement Community and the Joy House staff for the care they provided.

A Memorial Service will be conducted on Wednesday, October 18, 2023, at 1:00 PM at New Hope United Methodist Church by the Reverend Doug Gunsalus. A reception will follow in the church social hall.

It is suggested that those desiring may make memorial contributions to New Hope United Methodist Church (PO Box 86, New Hope, VA 24469)

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Owen E. Harner, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Memorial Service

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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