Edna C. Harbison
Edna Charlotte Harbison, born Nov. 1, 1915, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. She celebrated her 105th birthday this past November with a beautiful celebration at the Palms of Sebring.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Edna Willeta Harbison; and her two younger sisters, Marion Stevens and Sally Tweedale. Edna was a loving and nurturing aunt and is survived by her two nieces and husband, Wendy (Frank) Vann and Vicki Mobley; and her great nieces and husbands, Julie (Jorge), Dianne (John) and Cristy (Chuck); and great-great-nephews and niece, Steven, Matthew, Nathan, Grant and Katie.
Throughout her life, Edna had a passion for music and the arts. She had a beautiful singing voice, enjoyed playing the piano, and even starred in theatrical performances in high school. She was highly intelligent and loved to read, but was unable to attend college due to the Great Depression. During World War II, Edna worked as a supervisor in a factory making items for the war effort. Later, she used her strong mathematical skills to pursue a career as a bookkeeper and worked for multiple businesses in Philadelphia and South Florida until she finally retired at the age of 82.
Edna moved to Miami in the 1950s. She loved the beach and was often seen driving one of her two convertibles to Key Biscayne or Miami Beach. She loved swimming, diving and sunbathing. She spent many vacations on Miami Beach, Fort Myers Beach, and the Florida Keys.
Edna and her mother loved to travel together. They traveled throughout the United States, especially enjoying Washington, D.C., New York, Philadelphia and California. They also enjoyed travelling to the Caribbean Islands and Canada and often spoke fondly of their experiences. Edna and her mother were more than just mother and daughter, they were truly best friends. Edna lovingly took care of her mother until she passed on her 100th birthday.
In 2004, Edna moved to West Palm Beach and lived at Fountainview for 10 years. She made many friends and enjoyed all the activities available to her including bingo, the theater and the symphony. In 2014, she relocated to Fairway Pines in Highlands County to be closer to her family. She was crowned Valentine Queen in February 2015 and celebrated her 100th birthday the following November.
She had not one, but two birthday parties that year. The first was a family gathering for her at Chicane’s in Sebring with her name appearing on the marquee. The second was a large celebration at Fairway Pines with residents, staff and Sebring Mayor Shoop in attendance. Edna was always ready for the next celebration. She looked forward to every holiday, birthday or even a simple luncheon with excitement. She would always say that she was a party girl and truly lived life to the fullest.
In 2016, after an injury, the decision was made to have her live with her family. This provided her closest family members the opportunity and privilege to care for her. She continued to touch the lives of each individual fortunate enough to come in contact with her during those amazing four years. Edna moved to the Palms of Sebring in June 2020 after a difficult battle with pneumonia. There she received excellent care and was fortunate to celebrate her 105th birthday with a socially distant birthday parade. The staff of the Palms and VITAS hospice provided ongoing care and gave her love and dignity in her final days.
Edna was a spiritual woman and attended church throughout her life. She attended First Baptist Church of Avon Park when she was able and she felt the love of all the church family who faithfully have prayed for her. Edna was a very independent and caring person. She was always concerned for her family and friends. She will missed by all.
Visitation will be held at 4 p.m. until service time at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, at Stephenson-Nelson Funeral Home in Sebring, Florida. Interment will be held at Miami Memorial Park Cemetery. The service will also be streamed on Facebook Live.
Arrangements entrusted to Stephenson-Nelson Funeral Home, 4001 Sebring Parkway, Sebring, FL 33870. Online condolences may be left at stephensonnelsonfh.com.