Gloria JoAnn (Mohr) Harris of Spencer, Iowa passed away Wednesday, April 7, 2021, at St. Luke Lutheran Home in Spencer, Iowa, three weeks shy of her 90th birthday. She was born April 28, 1931, at Lutheran Hospital, Sioux City, Iowa to Walter and Eunice (Wiese) Mohr.
Gloria was raised in Hartley, Iowa, where she completed her education, graduating in 1949. She was involved in numerous high school activities, including band. She was a majorette. Gloria was a standout basketball player in Iowa's legendary six-player girls' game and led her team to several state tournaments. She was known for her set shots and was so dedicated that she went to the gym at 7 a.m. each school day to shoot 100 free throws before classes began.
While in high school she met Richard Gordon Harris, who became her husband on December 28, 1949 in Hartley, Iowa. In the early years of their marriage they lived in Ames, Iowa, where Gloria worked at the Iowa State University print shop and became a lifelong fan of the Cyclones.
They later lived in Odebolt, Iowa, for a couple of years, and then moved to Northwest Iowa when Richard began farming. They moved to Richard's boyhood home north of Everly in 1963, and in 1993 relocated to their home in Spencer.
During their years on the farm, Richard and Gloria raised five children. Gloria was involved in all her children’s activities and loved going to their games, concerts, Christmas programs and 4-H events. She was an accomplished seamstress who sewed many of their clothes, as well as apparel for special occasions. She also had a knack for hanging wallpaper, which became a successful business. Working with friends, Gloria wallpapered countless Northwest Iowa homes. She also volunteered at the Spencer Hospital for several years.
After raising her children, Gloria began working at Jo Ann Fabrics in Spencer, where her paychecks were regularly spent on fabric for her next project.
Gloria was very active in her church, including her circle and Bible studies. She and Richard hosted many card club events and Fourth of July gatherings for their friends. She enjoyed her neighbors and always welcomed her children’s friends into her home.
Gloria loved spending time with her family. Her favorite summer activity was watching her kids play softball and baseball. She and Richard planned annual summer vacations, which often included camping in the mountains. In later years, they enjoyed traveling to California, Arizona and Utah, among other locations.
She especially loved being with her grandchildren and spoiled them with chocolate milk shakes, clothes sewn just for them, and homemade sugar cookies baked every Christmas. She also shared with them her love of sewing and the enjoyment of piecing together jigsaw puzzles.
Those closest to her appreciated her love of sweets and butterscotch candies.
Toward the end of her life, Gloria resided at St. Luke Lutheran Home in Spencer.
In addition to her parents, Gloria was preceded in death by Richard, her husband of nearly 68 years; a brother, Richard Mohr; and a great-grandson, Xaviar Harris.
Left to cherish her memory are her children, Diane Turvold (Jim) of Cresco, Iowa, David Harris of Grand Forks, N.D., Dean Harris (Kathy) of Newman, Calif., Denise Salem of Sioux City, Iowa, and Douglas Harris (Lynette) of Stansbury Park, Utah; a brother, Kay Mohr (Brenda) of Moorhead, Minn.; a brother-in-law, Ronald Harris (Chris) of Ozark, Ala.; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren, several nieces and nephews, other relatives and countless friends.
The family would like to extend sincere appreciation to St. Luke Lutheran Home staff and Dr. David Keith for the wonderful care they provided to Gloria over the years.
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