Mrs. Harnack was born Sept. 15, 1938, in Elgin, Neb., the daughter of John and Anna E. M. (Schenzel) Merchant. She married Ronald C. Harnack July 16, 1960 in Remsen. The couple lived on the Harnack Family Farm near Remsen for more than 50 years.
Mary Ann started life on the family ranch in Nebraska which some family members referred to as "The Beaver." She had moved with her family from Nebraska to Missouri and later to Sioux City.
She had attended school in Sioux City until her father died. She then quit school to take care of her younger brothers. Her first job at the age of 13 was as a live in babysitter and housekeeper for Maxxine Starr, an entertainer in the early Siouxland years. She later gained employment with the Johnson Biscuit Company, and left a few months after being married.
Later she received her GED from WITCC in Sioux City before her first child graduated high school. She was baptized and confirmed as adult at Christ Lutheran Church in Remsen with her brother-in-law Dean Harvey by Rev. Alfred Christenson.
Later in life she enjoyed watching the Hour of Power and the Christian worship. She would spend many hours daily praying for family and friends. Mary Ann loved her children, family, God, music, and dancing.
Survivors include her husband, Ronald Clarence Harnack Sr., of Remsen; son, Ronald Clarence Harnack Jr. and his wife, Julie, of Palmer; daughter, Kitty Jo Mary (Harnack) Edgar and her husband, Keith, of Belleville, Ill.; grandchildren, Elizabeth Grace Harnack, Nikolas Alexandor Harnack, Lindsey Marie (Harnack) Steinberg, and her husband Jake and Trevor Clarence Harnack; brothers, John Merchant and his wife Elaine Merchant, Eugene Merchant and his wife Norma Merchant, Kelly Merchant and his wife Pamela Merchant, Franklin Merchant and his wife Rena Merchant, Robert Merchant and his wife Sue Merchant; sisters-in-law, Ernie Merchant, Lynn Merchant, and Sharon Harvey and her husband, Dean; and numerous nieces and nephews; godchildren, Heather Merchant and Kirk Hansen; and Darlene Bennett, a lifetime friend and "sister."
She was preceded in death by her parents John Alvin Merchant and Anna Evalina Martha (Schenzel) Merchant, sister Clara (Merchant) Karras and her husband, Howard, brothers Charles, Douglas and his wife, Karilyn, Carl, and Erick Oscar; a half-sister Juanita Walters, and a half-brother B.J. Merchant.
Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the Mauer - Johnson Funeral Home in Le Mars. The Rev. Don Meyer will officiate. Burial will follow at the Remsen Community Cemetery. Visitation with family present will begin at 3 p.m. today (Wednesday), at the Mauer - Johnson Funeral Home. There will be a prayer service at 7 p.m. Visitation will resume at 9 a.m. on Thursday prior to the funeral.
Pallbearers are Elizabeth Harnack, Nik Harnack, Lindsey (Harnack) Steinberg, Trevor Harnack, Jake Steinberg and Frank Harvey. Honorary pallbearers are Eugene Merchant, Johnny Merchant, Kelly Merchant, Frank Merchant, Bobby Merchant, Dean Harvey.
Expressions of sympathy may be directed through www.mauerjohnsonfh.com.