Grace Harness

Published 10:35 am Wednesday, January 31, 2024

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Grace Illene Howard Harness, 87 of Crab Orchard, passed away peacefully at her home on Friday, January 26, 2024. She was the widow of the late “Johnny”, John R. Harness, Sr., who preceded her in 1994. She was born October 19, 1936 in Crab Orchard to her beloved mother, the late, Margaret Saylor Howard and Father, Benjamin Harrison Howard. After her birth, two wonderful sisters followed her. Phyllis Howard Bodner and Bennie Howard Reynolds. They grew up so happily together, running and playing and loving the life their mother built for them. They farmed, milked cows, gardened and canned their harvest. They were taught about Jesus and grew up in the love of the Lord, all the while being under their mothers precious wing. She was a graduate of Crab Orchard High School and Berea College with a degree in nursing. She worked many years at Garrard County Hospital loving and caring for many precious patients. Grace also worked as a nurse for the Lincoln County Health Department before accepting the position of Health Careers Instructor at Garrard County Vocational School where she touched the lives of so many young nursing students. She went above and beyond the role of a teacher, being an advisor, counselor and friend. She always loved when former students kept in touch with her over the years. Running into her students, while out and about, always made her day. Grace had a passion for serving the Lord. She was a lifelong member of Watts Chapel Baptist Church, where she was a faithful servant in so many roles. She loved her Ladies Sunday School Class and Classmates, and the fellowship of WMU. She loved teaching Awanas classes and helping with many children’s activities. Of all this, the joy of her life was her loving family. She married Johnny in 1959 and was his devoted wife and partner in life until his passing. Her son, grandchildren and great grandchildren were her greatest happiness. She was blessed to spend all her days of her retirement on the family farm, loving, looking after and cooking wonderful meals for her family so dear to her heart.

Survivors include son, John Robert Harness, Jr.; grandchildren April Howard (Shannon), Elijah William “Eli” Harness, Brayden Lucas Howard, Shelby Paige Howard & Katie Belle Howard; sisters Phyllis Bodner and Bennie Reynolds; daughter in law Teresa Gail Harness; several nieces and nephews also survive.

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her Dad, Benjamin Harrison Howard in 1962, Mother, Margaret Saylor Howard in 2001, One Great Granddaughter, Anna Gail Howard in 2014, and her Half-Brother, Robert Bailey “Bob” Howard.

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Services were held January 30 at Watts Chapel Baptist Church. Burial followed at  Bethel Church of Christ Cemetery with McKnight Funeral Home intrusted with the arrangements.

Memorial contributions suggested to Gideons International Bible Fund, P.O. Box 155, Stanford, Kentucky 40484.

An online guestbook is available at