Traverse City Record-Eagle


September 23, 2013

Ruth A. Harkert Died Sept. 21, 2013

TRAVERSE CITY — With her family gathered around her, Ruth Annette Harkert, 87, of Traverse City and formerly of Evart, passed away peacefully Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, at Munson Medical Center.

Born Monday, Sept. 13, 1926, in Clio, she was the fourth of eight children born to Jessie Imogene (Fleming) and Earl Isaac Gillett. The family moved back to their ancestral roots in Evart shortly after her birth. She attended Evart Public Schools and graduated from Evart High in 1944. She continued her education at Central Michigan College in Mount Pleasant.

Ruth married Leo Harkert on Saturday, Jan. 21, 1950, in Evart, and they shared 58 years together before Leo’s death on Jan. 21, 2008.

After her children were in school, Ruth began working for Evart Public Schools, first in the high school library as an assistant for a couple of years and then for many years in the position of secretary to elementary principal Dwight Cooper, a position she held until her retirement.

The Harkert’s made their home in Evart for 54 years, moving to Traverse City in 2004 to be near their family.

Ruth is survived by her children, Rick and his wife Jody Harkert, and Linda Puckett, all of Traverse City; her grandchildren, Nicholas (Lindsay) Harkert of Traverse City, Kendry Harkert (Matt Scott) of Interlochen, Tyler Harkert of Kentwood, Tina (Chet) Neihardt of Sarasota, Fla., Matthew (Leslie) Puckett of Portage, Renee Puckett of Muskegon; and her great-grandchildren, Christopher, Kyle, Noah and Emma Rae.

Also surviving are her siblings, Joan (Max) Bowman of Plant City, Fla., Jim (Lilah) Gillett of Overland Park, Kan., David (Pat) Gillett of Greenville and Louise (David) Lantz of Lansing and Elk Rapids. Many nieces and nephews survive, including her “special” niece Tammy Lantz of Traverse City, who has been so very involved in her life and care; her very special friend and “adopted granddaughter” Theresa Marsh of Kingsley; her good friend Harriett Bieri of Evart, as well as her many other Evart friends. Also surviving is her sister-in-law, Tootie Buri of Davenport, Iowa.

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