Edna Harnack

Date of Birth

Jul 01,1923

Date of Death

Jun 29,2018

Edna M. Harnack, 94, passed away peacefully, Friday, June 29, 2018, in her favorite spot watching her beloved sports teams at her home in Kaneville, IL. Edna was born at home in Smethwick, England, in June of 1923, to proud parents Henry and Lillian (Lane) Partridge. She had a very happy childhood with her six siblings where there was always lots of love and laughter throughout their home.Edna attended the local schools until the age of 16. In 1939, the outbreak of WWII came to her family’s door step. She was immediately thrust out of school into the British Pen’s factory where she made machine gun clips and ammunition to help with the war effort. Edna was more than happy to help in the factory; the men fighting in the war were her heroes and she truly valued their efforts. Life was very hard in the surrounding towns. Day after day as the blitzes covered England, Edna would spend many nights in the bomb shelter to avoid the bombs. During this time, the children of England became adults very quickly. Five years in to the war, Edna was still hard at work at the factory. But even the war couldn’t keep the people from having some fun through little carnivals here and there. One evening, Edna happened to be at the right carnival, at the right time, and it changed her life forever. While sitting atop the ferris wheel, Alexander M. Harnack’s eyes found his way to Edna. She was a sight that couldn’t leave his mind. After days of talking to everyone in the town, Al finally found his Edna and asked her out. It was an offer she couldn’t refuse. Al was in the U.S. Army Air Corp and was often called to different places all over the country. For 18 months, after the invasion of Normandy, Al traveled from wherever he was on his days off to see Edna. Finally, on February 11, 1946, their courtship ended and they were united in marriage. Edna was a certified war bride and Al sent for her to come to Chicago in 1946, where he waited with open arms to welcome her to Illinois. Al and Edna lived in and around Chicago for five years. In those five years they were blessed with their first son, Mike. After Mike’s birth, they moved to make their home in Willow Springs. Shortly after their move, they were blessed with their second son, Steve; he would complete their little family in her perfect little house.Once the boys were of school age, Edna went to work at their school cafeteria where she would cook and bake many things for the students. She also worked for a ballroom as an attendant. Edna learned how to drive just so she could make it to both of her jobs from home. Nothing stopped her determination to go to work. Edna made many friends at the cafeteria and had her own clique of lady friends.
Living in Willow Springs, Edna had a lovely forest preserve across the street from her house. She would take her beloved pups, Rolfe and Leo, on walks through the woods. There were many little adventures to find funny things.
The loveliest thing about her home was Edna’s garden. She was an avid gardener with the greenest thumb you’ve ever seen. Every Christmas and birthday, Edna got something for her garden, from tools to little statues. Whenever she got a tool for a gift she would have to try it out right away, snow or rain.
When Edna wasn’t outside, she was inside baking or cooking something up in her kitchen. Everything she made was delicious, but she often made way too much. Her years in the cafeteria led Edna to make most of her meals cafeteria style. This way she was sure everyone was well fed and there were always leftovers.
As she got older and couldn’t be in the garden as often, Edna developed a huge love for sports. She watched and enjoyed golf and tennis, but she loved Blackhawks hockey the most. When she was watching hockey, Edna wore a Blackhawks jersey for every game. Her boys always said she liked Patrick Kane a little too much.
Edna was the life of the party with a quick smile and an even quicker laugh. There was never a frown to keep her or those around her down. She was so much fun to be around; everyone loved her British accent as well.
Even though England a long jump “across the pond”, Edna never faltered when it came to remembering birthdays and holidays. Through skype she kept in contact with her family constantly, and flew over every chance she got. Edna was always the family type.
She cherished the memories of traveling to Alaska and England with her dear friends Mary and Jacquie, Pam’s mother.
When Serena, Edna’s granddaughter, was born, Edna was over the moon with joy. They absolutely loved to play bingo together and would just laugh and laugh for hours on any given day. Edna developed a love of music through Serena and almost never missed a concert.
There are no words that could amount to how much Edna will be missed, but never forgotten. She will be forever in the hearts of the people she touched with her ever present smile and her quick laugh.
Edna is survived by her two sons: Mike (Pam Smith) Harnack and Steve (Mandy) Harnack; one granddaughter, Serena Harnack; one sister, Marjorie Liddy; as well as many nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her beloved husband of 55 years, Al Harnack; her parents, Henry and Lillian Partridge; her five siblings: Joe Partridge, Elsie Rowley, Henry Partridge, William Partridge, and Dick Partridge.
Private family services will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the St. Joseph Indian School, 1301 North Main Street,
Chamberlain, SD 57325, or St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105. For her full life story, visit conleycare.com or Conley Funeral Home Facebook page.

Private family services will be held at a later date.

Private family services will be held at a later date.

Private family services will be held at a later date.

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