December 16, 1914 - February 27, 2011
Marjorie Harms Danner, 96, died peacefully of natural causes in her daughter's home in Ashland, Ore., on Sunday,
February 27, 2011, with her four children nearby. She lived a vibrant, full and healthy life dedicated to her family and her many gardens. Marjorie was born in Lily Lake, Ill., on
December 16, 1914, and grew up in Rochelle, Ill. She was the daughter of local businessman, Herman Harms, and his wife, Sydna.
At the age of 20, while playing piano sheet music in the
window of a local music store, Marjorie met her future
husband, Nevin Earle Danner, who had just graduated from Harvard College, and had been hired on as the editor of the local newspaper. They were married in Washington, D.C., on February 16, 1937. The couple briefly owned and operated a newspaper in Lititz, Penn., and bicycle shop in Cambridge, Mass., before Nevin graduated from Lancaster Theological Seminary. They lived in Homewood, Ill., and Milton, Penn., before Evansville, New Harmony, Cynthiana and
Bloomington, Ind. Nevin was an Evangelical and a
Reformed/ United Church of Christ minister.
During their time in Evansville (1950-1963), he served as
Executive Secretary of the Evansville Council of Churches, while Marjorie created several school-related initiatives
focused on student leadership, and international learning. From 1963-1967, they lived in New Harmony, Ind., where they worked to revitalize the community's tradition as a
center of ideas and innovation. At the time of Nevin's death in 1974, they were both actively involved in Campus
Ministries at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind. Marjorie soon moved to Vallejo, Calif., to be near her sister. In 1996, she moved finally to Ashland, Ore., to live near her daughter.
Throughout her life, Marjorie was an avid gardener, active follower of world issues, a strong and independent woman, whose many ideas were ahead of her time. Her extended family and many friends will greatly miss her indomitable spirit and loving heart.
Marjorie was preceded in death by her brother, Jerry Harms; sister, Lois Tigan; and husband, Nevin. She is survived by her older brother, Robert Harms; children, Bryant (Judi), William (Gillian), Katharine, John (Nancy Pietrafesa); and seven grandchildren, Debra Danner, Susanna Danner, Charles
Danner (Oli Dehghan), Nick Hershman, Eliot Danner,
Christopher Danner and William Danner.
A gathering in Marjorie's memory will be held in Ashland, Ore., on April 30, 2011. Interment will be at the Lawnridge Cemetery in Rochelle, Ill. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Marjorie's memory can be made to the Ashland Schools Foundation Endowment Fund, 100 Walker Ave., Ashland, OR 97420, or at the ASF website: