Cover photo for Minnie Harms's Obituary
Minnie Harms Profile Photo

Minnie Harms

d. December 27, 2012

Minnie Harms passed away at age 99 on December 23, 2012. Minnie was the second youngest of eight children of Henry F. and Emma (Bohling) Rogge, and was born at home on the farm at Rohrs. She attended the one-room Rohrs School across the highway from the home place. After eighth grade, she stayed home for a year, helping out at the same school. She then entered high school in Auburn, riding to town from Rohrs with various relatives including her cousin Bill Rogge and cousin Hertha Remmers. She had learned to drive, but on one occasion after school, Minnie was a passenger with Hertha Oestmann Remmers who was driving a model T. Ella Oestmann Bergman was riding between Hertha and Minnie. Hertha lost control and the model T tipped over. Minor injuries resulted but Minnie then swore off driving. .

After graduating in 1931 with a teaching certificate, Minnie stayed home with her parents until 1935 when she enrolled at Peru State Teachers College to renew her teaching credentials. After a year at Peru State, Minnie took the job as teacher /janitor at the Roosevelt School a few miles south of her home and sometimes stayed with the a local family during the week when road conditions were difficult. After two years, she landed the teacher?s job at Rohrs School and then lived at the family home. Her salary was initially $40 per month but finally was raised to $45 per /month after she threatened to leave the job. She retired from teaching when she married.

A lifelong member of St. Paul?s Lutheran Hickory Grove congregation, she married her fellow parishioner Walter G. Harms on June 26, 1941. Less than a year after their marriage, Walt was drafted into the Army. While Walt was serving in the military, Minnie took his place as manager of the Swift and Co. cream station in Auburn, learning to test butterfat, supervise employees and run a business.

While Walt was in training, Minnie traveled alone to California on the train and visited him. After reaching Hawaii, Walt became ill and was hospitalized. Later Minnie visited him in the military hospital in Battle Creek Michigan.

Minnie continued to run the cream station while Walt recuperated at home for a year after his military discharge. After Walt returned to work, Minnie continued as bookkeeper for the cream station.

After Allan was born in 1945, Minnie became a full-time housewife, working at the cream station on Saturday nights. Their second son Roger was born in 1951.

Minnie and Walt encouraged learning and scholarship in their sons and both were urged to use the Auburn Library that was a block from their home. Minnie also played the piano and Minnie and Walt encouraged both sons to take piano lessons and to participate in band. The love of learning was firmly instilled by them on their sons, though Walt did not live to see either son graduate, having died on Memorial Day, May 30, 1962.

While in her early 60?s Minnie traveled a few times with her sister Ida Rogge on bus trips and periodically visited Allan and his family in Cedar Rapids and Roger and his family in Rochester. She flew to California with Allan and his family in 1982 for a visit to Disneyland where she rode the same attractions as Doug and Kelly. Minnie got to visit Roger and Kris?s cabin near Hayward WI during a snowy Christmas 1998.

Minnie lived alone in her home after Roger and Allan left for college and continued to do so until she was 94 when, in February, 2008, Minnie broke a hip while in her home. After surgical repair, she entered Good Samaritan in Auburn. She broke her other hip in 2009 while a resident at Good Sam. Minnie resided there until a few days before her death.

On December 20, 2012, Minnie was moved to the Nemaha County Hospital due to pneumonia and complications of old age. She remained in good spirits until the last day of her life.

She is survived by two sons and daughter-in-laws: Allan and Sally Harms of Cedar Rapids, IA and Roger and Kris Harms of Rochester MN. Minnie?s grandchildren are Doug Harms and wife Claire of Sherman Oaks, CA., Kelly Wimmer and husband Josh of Madison WI., Dan Harms of Burlington,VT and Mike Harms and wife Kaitlin Herring of Iowa City, IA. She has one great grandchild, Griffin Wimmer.

Funeral services were Thursday, December 27, 2012 at St. Paul (Hickory Grove) Lutheran Church near Auburn, officiated by Rev. Paul Lillenas. Deanne Gerking was accompanist for a solo by Allyn Remmers and congregational songs. Pallbearers were Mike Harms, Dan Harms, Gary Rogge, Eric Rogge, Dennis Bantz, and Larry Holtzmann. Burial was in St. Paul (Hickory Grove) Cemetery.
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