EARLVILLE - Howard Wayne Harner, 90, of Earlville passed away in peace and was re-united in heaven with the love of his life, Dora Mae Harner, on May 11, 2018 at Mendota Heritage Manor surrounded by his children.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 15 at Earlville United Methodist Church with Pastor Sandy Smith officiating. Burial will follow at Wisner Cemetery, Ophir Township, Triumph. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. on Monday, May 14 at the Hanley-Turner-Eighner Funeral Home, Earlville.
Howard was born Aug. 12, 1927 in Meriden to George and Lela (Billings) Harner. He married Dora Mae Carr, daughter of Lloyd and Vada Carr of Triumph, on Aug. 6, 1952 at the Earlville United Methodist Church. She preceded him in death on March 6, 2010.
Survivors include three children, Douglas (Tammy) of LaMoille; Gregory of Jacksonville, Fla. and Karla Boltz (Troy Hasselbacher) of Franklin Grove; five grandchildren, Tricia Harner Hamil, Kyle, Max and Evan Boltz and Grant Harner; and seven great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife and both of his sisters, Kay Harner Taylor and Luella Harner Drum.
Howard graduated from eighth grade at Meriden Country School and attended Mendota High School. He worked in the Seneca Service Shipyard as a welder during World War II. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and became a Machinist’s Mate Third Class, working the engine room on the Battleship New Jersey. At the end of World War II, he served on the New Jersey patrolling the ocean from California, the Panama Canal, Cuba and Norfolk, Va. to Edinburgh, Scotland and Oslo, Norway. Howard and Dora loved to dance. Together they waltzed, fox-trotted and swing danced from Chicago to Florida without ever missing a step.
Howard was a 60-year member of Ironworkers Local 498, Rockford. He worked for 16 years at the Northwestern Steel and Wire Mill in Sterling where he was a journeyman, foreman, general foreman, and assistant to the superintendent, serving as superintendent when needed. He then worked as a journeyman, foreman, general foreman, and finally the project manager with Mid - City Architectural Iron Company, for the construction of the Byron Nuclear Power Plant. He designed and engineered the control center, which sat atop the plant building. He also used his engineering skills to design and frame the family home himself with the help of one carpenter. He built the brick fireplaces and he crafted the wood trim, cupboards, and much of the furniture. Inside, the home was always filled with love and laughter as Howard and Dora lovingly raised their three children. Howard meticulously maintained a stellar lawn that never showed the wear of the baseball, football and playground games of his children and the neighborhood children who enjoyed their summer days there. He and Dora nurtured beautiful flowers and trees that enveloped their home.
In addition, Howard used his engineering and creative woodworking skills to initiate building projects throughout his life at the Earlville United Methodist Church, where he was a member. His expert craftsmanship and artistic designs can be seen throughout the Earlville United Methodist Church as well as the Mendota Methodist Church. He served as a trustee and the financial secretary of the Earlville United Methodist Church for decades, and he was also a member of the Earlville Lions Club and a former member of the Mendota Elk’s Lodge.
Memorials may be directed to the Earlville United Methodist Church or the Wisner Cemetery. For more information or to sign the online guest book, go to www.Eighnerfuneralhomes.com.