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Nancy Lenore Burkart Harris
September 8, 1933 ~ February 11, 2024 (age 90) 90 Years Old
What a great smile. Although Nancy was generous with her smile, she tells the story of how if she was grumpy her dad would say “Smile Nancy.” She would reply “I can't smile all the time!”
Nancy Lenore Burkart was born September 8, 1933, the only child of Paul and Ruth (Chadderdon) Burkart in South Bend, Indiana. She loved to sing from an early age and sang on the “Sunday School of the Air” of the Central United Brethren Church.
Nancy grew up in a house on Jewell Road south of South Bend. Her father, Paul, built a lake cottage on Hemlock Lake in Marcellus, Michigan. Nancy was privileged to spend her summers there as a teenager, enjoying the friendship of her cousins Sally, Sue, and Don Oberle who had a cottage next door. In 1951 she graduated from Riley High School. She worked for the Associates Corporation until she married Grant Harris in 1953. She then became mother to Scot, Coleen, and Charlene, delighting herself in each of them, encouraging, and equipping them for their future lives. When the children were all in school Nancy worked part time in the school lunchroom, babysitting, and serving as choir director at Salem United Methodist Church. When she became a single mother Nancy worked as a bank reconciler for the Associates Corporation.When that company moved from South Bend, she worked in the office at Stanz Food Service. Nancy enjoyed her 41 years at Stanz until she retired at age 84.
Nancy was a long time performer with the South Bend Symphonic Choir and sang in musicals with the Presbyterian Players.
The loves of Nancy’s life were singing and her family. Her son Scot gave her Christopher and David. Coleen gave her Kerry, Kelly, Katherine, Kimberly, Kasey, Kelsey, Kristen, and Kevina. Charlene gave her April, Andrew, and Bryan. Most of these grandchildren are musicians, and her 22 great grandchildren are following the same beat. Nancy recently got to greet her two great great grandchildren.
Nancy was an eager cheerleader for sporting events, concerts, and plays of her grandchildren and great grandchildren. From 1991 until 2022 she never missed the Berrien County Youth Fair where she cheered for the goats.
Nancy was a member of Evangel Heights Church where she faithfully sang in the choir until she was 85.
Nancy was predeceased by Grant Harris and her son Scot in 2005.
She is survived by Scot’s sons: Chris (Stacey) Harris and their children Alexis and Coy and grandchildren Lennox and Ava; and David Harris and his children Thomas (Paige) and Scot.
By Coleen Harris (Brian) Clear and their children : Kerry (Heidi) Clear and their children Maria (Austin) Rockenbaugh, Stuart McGowan, Abigail Clear, Morgan McGowan, Gilbert Clear, and Sullivan Clear; Kelly (Lidiya) Clear and their children Jesse, Hannah, Priya, Emma, and Maya; Katherine (Jordan) Monroe and their children Benjamin and Rosie; Kimberly (James) Thompson and their children Lorna and Jamesy; Kasey (Lindsey Harlan) Clear, Kelsey Clear, Kristen Clear and Kevina Clear.
By Charlene Harris (Mike) Allen and their children Bryan (Stacey) Allen and their son Logan; April (Joey) Nemeth and their son Joey; and Andrew (Erin) Allen and their daughter Whitley.
Musical Celebration will be Saturday February 17 at noon with visiting 10 AM - noon at Evangel Heights UM Church 114 N Ironwood Drive, SB, IN.
Palmer Funeral Homes – Hickey Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements.
Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.palmerfuneralhomes.com.