Cover photo for Bernice Harmon's Obituary
Bernice Harmon Profile Photo
1926 Bernice 2024

Bernice Harmon

November 28, 1926 — March 22, 2024

Bernice Mazurek Harmon was born and raised in Hartford, CT, the 4th daughter of Frank and Mary Paszek Mazurek. A brother was born 5 years later, and that completed the family. In 1944 she graduated from Bulkeley High School, where she was salutatorian of her class, editor of the senior yearbook, and co-editor of the school literary magazine.

In 1948 she graduated from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA with a bachelor's degree in psychology. Her academic honors resulted in membership in Phi Beta Kappa. She continued her education at the University of Mississippi, where she earned a master's degree in psychology. Later she was employed in the testing division of the Psychology Department.

At the University of Mississippi, Bernice met her husband, Cliff. When they married a few years later, Cliff was working for the American Red Cross. As a field director, he was assigned to military installations in the southeast. He served in several places, including Fort Bragg, NC, Fort Campbell, KY, and Fort Knox, KY. He and Bernice also spent four years at a U.S. Army post in Baumholder, Germany.

In 1967 Cliff began to work for the Agency for International Development (USAID). He received training in the Vietnamese language and culture in Washington, D.C. Then he was sent to Vietnam to help in the refugee program. At this time Bernice and her three children (Cliff, Debi, and Charlie) moved to Oak Ridge, TN because she had read about the excellent school system.

Bernice was a stay-at-home mother while her children were in school, so she was able to participate in their activities. She was a den mother with the Cub Scouts and a leader with the Girl Scouts for several years. She also served on various school committees and as a volunteer at the school library.

In Oak Ridge, Bernice began her long association with Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (later Learning Ally) in 1968. She was a volunteer reader and monitor for eight years. Then she became a paid staff member, training and supervising volunteers. She loved that job because she met so many talented and interesting people. After sixteen years in that position, she retired, but continued as a volunteer until 2013, when the TN unit was closed.

CONTACT Helpline, a listening, referral service for callers with problems, was begun in Oak Ridge in 1973. Bernice was a trainee in the first class, conducted by professional counselors, and remained a loyal volunteer for 19 years.

Another favorite volunteer activity was with St. Mary's Church Thrift Shop. Customers and co-workers often called Bernice the "book lady" because her primary job was sorting, pricing, and displaying books. That was also a long association, from 1992 to 2020.

Bernice passed away on March 22, 2024, at the age of 97, at Brookdale Brown's Creek Assisted Living in Maryville, TN. She was preceded in death by her husband Clifford T. Harmon. She is survived by her children, Clifford D. Harmon II, Deborah A. Harmon, and Charles E. Harmon. She also leaves behind grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.

You are encouraged to share a memory of Bernice and/or your personal condolences with her family by visiting her memorial webpage and guestbook at Companion Funeral Home of Athens is honored to assist her family with these arrangements.


Visits: 149

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree