American Patriotic 10


Edgar Tyson Harkness

June 25, 1920 ~ June 23, 2018 (age 97)

Dad was committed to strong work ethic as a business owner, putting in long hours on the job and to the importance of the love of family. He always had a positive attitude with a great sense of humor and wit! These are the gifts he shared with his family. Edgar Tyson Harkness passed away Saturday, June 23, 2018, just two days before his 98th birthday.

Ed was born in Ionia on June 25, 1920. He was the son of Francis J. Harkness I and Mary Winifred (Marshall) Harkness. On August 31, 1939, he married Marie Popendick. Dad loved that they shared 65 years together.

Ed proudly served his country in the US Army during WWII. He was awarded the American Theater Ribbon and Victory Medal and also achieved the honor of Rifle Expert. He began service as Staff Sergeant instructing light tank crewman at Fort Riley, Kansas. Then, Sergeant First Class Edgar Harkness was in charge of Troop B, 19th Cavalry Training Battalion at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He was honorably discharged in May of 1946.

That same year, Ed partnered with his brother to establish and operate Specialty Block Company which provided the Ionia area concrete blocks and building supplies. In 1948, Kalamazoo Sales and Service was added followed by a ready mix plant in 1954. Through his business, he was privileged to have been a part of the growth of Ionia and the surrounding communities.

After 30 years of dedication to the business, Ed retired in 1975 at the age of 55. Retirement continued to be a busy time as he relaxed at the cottage with family and friends and fished near his camp at Scully on Algoma Central Railway in Canada. He owned the camp for 40 years and once hunted and brought home a moose! We loved hearing all those memorable tales! He also sold real estate and continued to expand as owner and developer of Fran Mar Estates east of Ionia. Ed and Marie went to many auctions and collected antiques. Clocks, Native American artifacts and arrowheads were a particular interest, often searching for them as they traveled. They were fortunate to be able to experience Hawaii and many other U.S. States, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and five trips to England, where they loved visiting with relatives.

Ed treasured the lifelong friendships he made over the years. He was a life member of the Order of the Eastern Star, Masons, Elks, AMVETS and the Midwest Tool Association.

Ed is survived by his daughter, Sue Ann (Gary) Edlin; daughter-in-law, Cheryl Harkness; grandchildren, Jeff Edlin, Chris (Elly) Edlin, Kim (Greg Slagle) Harkness, and Andrea Wood; great-grandchildren, Cameron, Lauren, Nathan, Ty, Trevor, Winnie, and Zephyr; along with a nephew and several nieces.

Edgar is preceded in death by his loving wife, Marie in 2004; his son, John; and grandson, Mike Wood.

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 from 4-7 p.m. at the Lehman Funeral Home, 220 Rich St., Ionia. The immediate family will attend a graveside service at a future date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Ionia, 125 E. Main St., Ionia 48846 in memory of Edgar. Online condolences may be made at

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