Cora D'Alene Marie (Duis) Harman was born Feb. 27, 1938, on the family farm outside of Little Rock, Iowa, the daughter of Marie Antje (Timmermann) and Raymond Lee Duis. Cora, known fondly as Cory, attended a one room school house through the eighth grade and graduated from Sibley High School, in Sibley. After high school she attended Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., and earned a BSN in nursing.
She enjoyed a varied career as a nurse, being employed at the VA Hospital in Sioux Falls, Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver, Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, as a private duty nurse in Coral Gables, Fla., Good Samaritan Care Center, in-home hemodialysis, and Floyd Valley Hospital in Le Mars, and was a nursing professor at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, and was a tenured professor at Austin Community College in Austin, Minn. Additionally, she was a volunteer nurse with Ingham Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp and the Susan G. Komen 3-Day.
Cory joined the United States Air Force Reserves as a flight nurse. She was called into active duty during Vietnam and served several tours. Cory rose to the rank of Captain. She was a nurse on the first flight into the United States with casualties from Vietnam.
Cory was one of six selected for testing in the inaugural Air Force female astronaut program.
Cory married Raymond Walter Harman Dec. 26, 1971, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Sibley. They resided on a farm near Plymouth, Iowa, prior to moving to Le Mars, in 1977.
Cory and Ray both loved farming and were involved with agriculture, continuing to grain farm Cory's childhood farm in Sibley. Over the years they had a variety of animals at their acreage including horses, chickens, rabbits, goats, hogs, cats, dogs, and llamas.
Cory was an active member of the community and St. John's Lutheran Church, in Le Mars, where she taught Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, was a nursery worker, took part in Do Day, Circle, Bethlehem Revisited, bible studies and other groups.
She was a Modern Woodmen of America Youth Service Club Leader since 1986, and held several leadership roles for Lutheran Brotherhood and Thrivent.
In 1997, Cory earned an associate's degree in band instrument repair from Western Iowa Tech Community College.
She is survived by children, Curt Harman of Cedar Rapids, and Dr. Maria Harman of Olathe, Kan.; brothers Maynard Duis of Englewood, Colo., and Donald Duis of Council Bluffs; and in-laws Donna Harman of Waterloo, Don and Nadine Harman of Marshalltown, and Elaine Harman of Mason City.
She was preceded in death by her husband Raymond Harman; parents; grandparents; and brother-in-laws Eldred and Keith Harman.
In accordance with Cory's wishes, her body has been willed to an anatomical donation program.
A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at St. John's Lutheran Church in Le Mars. The Rev. Greg Gabriel will officiate.
There will be a time of lunch and fellowship to follow at the church
The Mauer-Johnson Funeral Home of Le Mars is assisting the family with arrangements.
The family requests that memorials be made to World Mission Prayer League or American Bible Society.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family through mauerjohnsonfh.com.