Art was born in 1927 to Peter and Justine Harms, with siblings Peter Harms, Justine (Warkentin), John Harms, Lena (Klassen), Mary (Klassen) and Frieda (Loewen). He was pre-deceased in 2012 by wife Kay Harms, who was the light in family life and his indispensable partner in uncountable ventures. Art’s childhood years were spent in humble beginnings, not an uncommon situation for families in those times. His early recollections were important to him, replayed again and again, like early film – jobs for pennies as a child, stern adults, kind adults, trying to count to a million, his dog Rover, losses that so many prairie families and immigrants had to rebuild upon, the war years, the comfort and guidance of his parents and siblings amidst all of it. He married Kay in 1949, and the two of them established themselves successfully, step by step, in the Chilliwack business community and social/recreational life. They were devoted parents to Carol Abernethy (Brent), Joan O’Connor (Colin), Gord Harms (Sharon), Wendy Nurcombe (John) and Greg Harms (Alice). The children’s friends knew this family home as one that welcomed everyone, adults and children, with good humor, genuine interest in their visitors and excellent food.
Art was a warm, generous individual who, despite some very serious health problems in mid-life, managed a difficult recovery with grace, and lived to ninety years of age. He is survived by his five children, thirteen grandchildren Joe Abernethy, Graeme Abernethy (Gina), Marie O’Connor (Scott), Paul O’Connor (Brittany), Vivianne Harms (Brett), Stewart Harms, Jillian Tiessen (Dallas), Tiffany Nurcombe, Jeff Nurcombe (Sherrie), Sean Nurcombe, Adrian Harms, Gavin Harms, Simon Harms, and seven great-grandchildren Emile Abernethy, Leo Chin, Oliver O’Connor, Will O’Connor, Willow Tiessen, Evan Tiessen, and John Nurcombe.
The family thank the staff at Valleyhaven Care Facility for their professional attention and warmth, and Art’s sister Frieda Loewen for her frequent visiting and love.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 2 pm August 25, 2018 at Woodlawn Mt. Cheam Funeral Home, Chilliwack B.C. In lieu of flowers, donations, if desired, are suggested to Pediatric Cancers Survivorship Society of B.C. (pcssbc.com).