Elva A. Harmon was born July 2, 1927 in Penrose, Colorado, to Gertrude
Knowles Anderson and Earl Anderson. She died on February 22, 2017. The
Anderson family moved to Christian County, Missouri, in 1937, and to Springfield,
Missouri, in 1943.
Elva was educated in the public schools of Sparta and Springfield, Missouri,
where she graduated from Central High School. She continued her education
at State Teacher’s College in Springfield (now Missouri State University).
After graduating, she taught at Jarrett Junior High for one year and then
became the librarian at H.P. Study Junior High School. During these years
she attended the University of Illinois during the summers obtaining her
Master’s Degree in Library Science. After completing her Master’s
Degree, she worked for one year as a civilian employee of the U. S. Army,
establishing base libraries in South Korea.
Elva married Ralph Harmon in 1954. Ralph’s career took them to Kansas
City, MO, then to Chicago, Philadelphia, and finally Tulsa, where they
have lived since 1973. With each move, Elva found meaningful professional
work: in Kansas City as Base Librarian at Grandview Air Force Base and
as librarian at a library at Field Enterprises (publisher of
World Book Encyclopedia); in Philadelphia as librarian at Cheltenham Township High School; and,
in Tulsa at Tulsa City-County Library and as Director of Libraries for
Holland Hall Schools. During her years at Holland Hall, she and co-librarian
Anna Milligan outlined an annotated bibliography,
Reading for Young People: the Southwest.
Elva, along with her husband Ralph, was a generous donor to several causes
and organizations, among them Iron Gate at Trinity Episcopal Church, Animal
Aid of Tulsa, and SPCA of Tulsa. In addition to these entities, she and
Ralph also funded and endowed five scholarships at their
alma mater, Missouri State University. They were also instrumental in establishing
the dog park at Inverness as well as the Employee Assistance Fund.
She is survived by her husband Ralph, one sister Nancy Anderson of Springfield,
MO, and 13 nieces and nephews: Judi Smith, Gail Carroll, Sandy Burrell,
Stan Cozad, Libby Marion, Bobbi Weiss, Bruce Cozad, Sara Riekhof, Sheryl
Lange, Brenda Williams, Cathy Spargo, Don Howell, and Dan Howell. She
was pre-deceased by her parents, one infant brother, and sisters Barbara
Cozad, Earlene Anderson, Margaret Howell, and Shirley Stafford.
Honoring Elva’s request, no formal service will be held. Cremation
service is being done by the Cremation Society of Oklahoma in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Memorial contributions may be made to Iron Gate at Trinity Episcopal Church,
Animal Aid of Tulsa, SPCA of Tulsa, or a charity of the donor’s choice.