Doreen Frances Harms 97 died December 27, 2022, at Kidron Bethel Healthcare in North Newton, Kansas. Shew was born November 14, 1925, to Isaac and Helen (Harms) Harms. She was the first of three children and was raised on a farm East of Newton. Doreen was baptized at Grace Hill Mennonite Church on May 24, 1942, upon her confession of faith. She grew up during the great depression. Two years of rural elementary school teaching were sandwiched into several years of college.
In June of 1948, she went into Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) service in Akron, PA, for a two-year term, which eventually became 43 years. MCC service began with secretarial work in the refugee department at the time of large refugee transports to South American and Canada.
After the U.S. Displaced Persons Act of 1948, she was asked to direct refugee resettlement in the U.S. for ca. 400 refugee persons. In 1950 she helped to organize and then directed an international exchange program for 18–30-year-old international people aimed at international peace and understanding.
In 1952, she was asked to go to the Mennonite refugee camp in Germany to work with U.S. refugee immigration from that end as well as help with food/clothing distribution and set up a tracing service for families torn apart and displaced because of WWII.
After that her work with MCC centered in Akron, PA., although she went back to Europe for 8 more years to work with East-West relations and the broader MCC program in Europe and North Africa.
The work in Akron through the years involved several assignments but a total of ca. 29 years were starting and directing several international exchange programs. This involved working with several thousand young people from about 60 countries, their church and/or civic leaders abroad and with sponsors, hosts, and committees in North America.
Mid-1991, she retired at the Kidron Bethel retirement village. During retirements, she served on various boards and their committees including Northview Developmental Services board, Et Cetera/Ten Thousand Villages, Kidron Bethel, and the Harvey Co. RSVP. She also found opportunity to volunteer at numerous agencies in the Newton community and be active in the Grace Hill Mennonite Church.
Survivors are: Nieces, Sharon Harms, Delorme and Janelle Harms; Nephews Daryl and Loren Harms.
Preceded on Christmas Day in 2022, by brother Vernon Harms in Canada. She is also preceded by sister Marjorie Harms and her parents.
Committal service at Grace Hill Mennonite Church cemetery at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, January 6, 2023, followed by a celebration of life service at 11:00 a.m.
Memorials may be sent to Mennonite Central Committee, Grace Hill Mennonite Church or Kidron Bethel Retirement Services.