Mary Jean Pettit Harden, 94, passed away at the UNC Rockingham Rehabilitation and Nursing Care Center in Eden, NC, on Sunday, November 13, 2022.
A visitation will be held from 4-6pm Monday, November 21, 2022, at Fair Funeral Home in Eden, NC. A funeral service will be held at 1pm Tuesday, November 22, 2022 at Leaksville United Methodist Church, 603 Henry St, Eden NC 27288. Burial will follow at Lawson Cemetery in Eden. A reception will follow the burial at Morehead-Fair House, located beside Fair Funeral Home.
She is survived by her two daughters, Martha Harden Smith and her husband, George D. Smith, Kemptville, Ontario, Canada, and Sue Harden Oakley and her husband, Robert Carson Oakley, Jr., of Fountain Hills, Arizona; her two granddaughters, Georgia Smith Stratton and her husband, Russell Stratton, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and Caroline Smith and her partner, Devin Roberts, of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; and her two great-grandchildren, Theodore Robert Stratton and Flora Jean Stratton, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She is also survived by her sister, Anne Pettit Huffman of Greenville, South Carolina; her cousin, Mary Ann Hester, of Saluda, North Carolina; her niece, Jeanie Huffman Carter, Daniel Island, SC, and her two nephews, Earle Huffman and Will Huffman, both of Columbia, SC, and their families.
She was predeceased by her husband of 68 years, Robert Allen Harden, Jr.; her mother, Ruth Willis Pettit and her father, Leland E. Pettit, both of Greenville, South Carolina; and her brother, Leland E. Pettit III of Atlanta, Georgia.
Jean was born and raised in Greenville, SC. She and Bob married in 1947 and eventually settled in Eden. Jean volunteered much of her time as a Brownie leader, a member of the Morehead Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, and as a member of Leaksville United Methodist Church. She was a founding member of the Town and Country Garden Club, a member of the Junior Service League, a member of the Border Book Club and the Leaksville Spray History Club. She was also a member of the George Reynolds Chapter of the DAR.
She was well known for being an excellent cook, and both of her daughters often phoned long-distance from as far away as Arizona, Puerto Rico, Canada and Scotland for help with recipes. Pound cakes were her specialty – whenever she had butter and eggs sitting out on the kitchen counter, Bob, Sue and Martha knew that Jean was getting ready to bake something delicious.
One of Jean’s greatest joys was hosting groups of friends and family at either small dinner parties or larger gatherings. She took meals to friends who were sick or bereaved. So many times she gave of herself to help brighten someone’s day or cheer up a friend. She enjoyed travelling to visit family and she kept her and Bob’s extended family close. She and Bob saw many miles of I-85 built as they drove to Greenville and Atlanta on it for years!
Jean’s daughters gratefully acknowledge all the dedicated staff of UNC Rockingham Rehabilitation and Nursing Care Center for the compassionate care of their mother for over 11 years. They also thank the many friends and neighbors who supported Jean with visits and cards.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Leaksville United Methodist Church, 603 Henry Street, Eden, NC 27288, or to the charity of one’s choice.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.fairfuneralhome.com.
Mrs. Harden has been here the entire time I have worked here (I've been at the nursing center 10 years). She has certainly been a fighter! I will never forget her and your Dad; both were wonderful people. It has been a pleasure working with her daughters over the years. They both seemed to love their mother so much and were so kind. We will all miss her. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.
Martha, Sue and all the family...
Your Mom was a precious lady and a fantastic Brownie leader !!! I pray that the fond memories of her will bring you comfort in the coming days! Sincere prayers for you all <>< Joni DeHart Morris
The nicest most generous lady I have had the pleasure to know. I have so many fond memories of our shared time together.
So sorry to hear about your mother passed away. She was a special lady and she loved her two beautiful daughters and their families.
She will be missed very much.
Sending my condolences to you two and be thinking of you two.
May the Lord be with you all and give you all peaceful.
Sue and Martha Our thoughts and prayers are with you on the loss of your mom. We had many great times over the years. I know your dad was at heavens gates with open arms to greet her. God Bless! Henry and Lorrie Landress
Jean was one of the kindest people I have ever known. ( I was the recipient of one of her delicious pound cakes. )
I will miss Jean very much. I always loved sitting with her. She will always hold a special place in my heart. Martha and Sue my thoughts and prayers are with uou both.
Dear Harden Family,
I sang in the choir with Bob for many years at LUMC and have many fond memories of Bob and Jean. She was a wonderful hostess and I remember one special choir event where she entertained the whole group. Their home was beautifully decorated and the food was, of course, delicious. Please know you are all in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
Sue, Martha and family,
Your mother touched so many people with her kindness.
We hope it will comfort you to know that others are
missing her right along with you, and sending love and
prayers your way.Your parents were the best neighbors!
We have so many sweet memories of them.
We find comfort in knowing she is with her beloved Bob now.
Myra & HC
To tha Harden family,
We share your pain and sorrow and we pray to give you comfort and courage in these difficult times.
God Bless You !
From your friends in Canada,
Guy, Cathy Marleau
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