2014-09-11 / Obituaries

Carol Edna O’Leary Harner

Carol O’Leary Harner of Mariposa, the diminutive woman who for 40 years lived on the Harner Ranch, or “Carol’s Country Club” on Allred Road, passed away on Aug. 9, 2014 at the age of 90 in the Tracy home of her daughter, Susan Harner Lazdins.

Carol was born Carol Edna

O’Leary on Christmas Day (hence the name “Carol”) in 1923 in Spokane, Wash., to Clifford (Cliff) Wright O’Leary and Leona U’ren O’Leary. Carol was an only child. During the 1930s, the family moved to Long Beach, where Cliff found work in a Chevrolet agency.

Carol was very busy supporting the practice of her husband, Dr. Robert C. Harner, M.D., as well her own dental hygiene practice (lasting over 50 years). The family moved permanently to Mariposa in 1975.

Carol touched many Mariposans, as well as visitors, as a volunteer or supporter of the Mariposa County Historical Society, California Mining and Mineral Museum, John C. Fremont Hospital, California Farm Bureau, Mariposa Kiwanis and the Mariposa Symphony. She was also involved in Republican Party politics (national, state and local levels), in local choral and theater projects and was a regular at bridge at the Mariposa Senior Activity Center.

One wall of Carol’s Mariposa house displays photos of her with presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and George H.W. Bush, as well as buttons and bumper stickers from her (unsuccessful) campaigns as the Republican nominee for U.S. Congress and Assembly, from districts that covered Fresno, Merced, Madera and Mariposa counties. In the first campaign in 1972 Carol spent weeks traversing her district on a bicycle, a 300-plus-mile journey.

Carol married her high school sweetheart, Robert (Bob) Harner, on April 24, 1943. Bob and Carol’s first child, Mark Patrick, was born in Long Beach in 1947 while Bob was completing his pre-med courses at USC. The next two of their children, Stephen Michael and Susan Kathryn, were born in Philadelphia in 1949 and 1951 where Bob attended Hahnemann Medical School.

In 1950, Carol contracted polio that caused her chronic leg weakness, especially later in life (though it didn’t stop her from dancing).

Carol is survived by sons Mark Harner of Indian Wells, Stephen Harner of Newport Beach, Christopher Harner of Las Vegas, and by daughters Susan Lazdins of Tracy, Leslie Jacobs of Lander, Wyo., and by eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Mariposa Museum and History Center, 5119 Jessie St., Mariposa, CA 95338, or to the Mariposa Senior Activity Center. The family would like to thank American Hospice in Livermore for support and assistance in her final weeks.

A public memorial service will be held on Saturday, Oct. 4 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Mariposa Masonic Lodge at 5154 Jones Street in Mariposa.

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