Edward Wayne Harness was born in Little Rock, Arkansas on August 14, 1941, to James Warren Harness and Maudie Lee Tackett.
Edward, who always went by Eddie or Ed, wanted to make his appearance before Maudie could get to the hospital, thus he was born at the Dew Drop Inn that was on the way. When Ed tried to write about his birth in school his teacher didn’t believe him. Ed had to bring his mom to school to confirm his story. Ed was the youngest of nine children, six boys and three girls. Ed’s roots are in Arkansas where he spent his childhood. His older siblings remained in Arkansas while the three younger siblings moved with their parents.
The Harness Family moved around a lot because James was employed by the railroad. They lived in Arkansas, California, and Oregon, and finally put down roots in Provo, Utah in approximately 1950. Ed attended Dixon Junior High and graduated from Provo High School in 1959.
When Ed was in the eleventh grade, he asked his friend Pat to introduce him to all the blondes she knew. Lucky number 13 was Gena Maree Palfreyman, a ninth-grader attending Springville Junior High. Pat pulled Gena from her weekly church mutual activity to meet Ed for the first time. They dated for three years and then decided they needed to date other people. Just about the time Gena was asked on a date by someone else, Ed found a ring and proposed. Five days after Gena graduated from high school, Ed and Gena were married. It was May 31, 1961, the last day of May because Gena did not want to be a June bride.
Ed and Gena began their family the following May by welcoming a beautiful baby girl, Khristina. Necole was born in 1965, Boone came along in 1969, and Jeremy completed their family in 1974. Besides building an amazing family, Ed was a builder of many things. He began with his father-in-law by building a home for Ed’s family in 1965 in Springville, Utah. In 1979 Ed and Gena would build a small cabin near Scofield, Utah by cutting the logs from their forty acres and dragging them up to the site, laying them like Lincoln logs. Their main tool was a chainsaw. They worked on the cabin all summer and finished it just in time for the deer hunt that fall.
Ed worked as a surveyor for UDOT for 30 years. During this time, he completed his HET certification for surveying. He surveyed and built roads all over the state of Utah.
In 1995, Ed and Gena bought five and a half acres in beautiful Mapleton, Utah. After Ed retired, he built a big, red barn on their Mapleton property because he wanted to be close to his horses. In 1996, Ed and Gena would build their dream home on their Mapleton property. Gena designed the home, and one of their greatest accomplishments as a couple was building the home together. Ed was so proud that Gena cut every piece of 2×6 pine and he laid it all in place.
Ed also built many birdhouses for family and friends. He even sold a few. He built tables, chairs, and large, intricate, toy barns for the grandchildren. He also built a countless number of picture frames; however, for each project, only Ed could pick out the wood. Only he could choose the best pieces of wood for each project.
Ed loved camping and hunting, especially when his children were old enough to go with him. Many family vacations were centered around deer hunting in the fall. His love of hunting really was about his love of family. His last hunt was a moose hunt in 2013, after he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma cancer. He was very excited because his sons, son-in-law, and wife got to come along. For a while, Ed and Gena were snowbirds in Arizona and met many new friends. They enjoyed golfing and hanging out at River Lodge.
After Ed became more homebound because of his declining health, he loved to watch “Gunsmoke”. He watched the show 24/7 and as such was the recipient of mugs, t-shirts, socks, and a blanket, all with the “Gunsmoke” logo.
Above all else, Ed loved his family. A few weeks before he passed, he was playing poker with family members. Dominic, his grandson, asked Grandpa “What was your greatest accomplishment in life?” Without hesitation, Ed answered, “Marrying your grandma!” Ed and Gena’s family all reside in Utah County. The home they built in Mapleton has been a safe hub for many parties and stop-bys for over 25 years. Ed is lucky enough to have four generations of boys to carry on the Harness name.
Ed is preceded in death by his parents, five brothers, Vernon, Richard, Thomas, Herbert and David, two sisters, Lorraine and Maxine, his son-in-law, Jim Miller, and his grandson, Jayson Miller. He is survived by his wife Gena, his children Khristina Miller, Necole Mitchell (Scott), Boone, Jeremy (Michelle), 11 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and his sister Pauline Christensen.
The Harness Family would like to express their gratitude for the care Ed received this past year from A Plus Hospice, especially Heidi Lafferty, the wonderful nurse who has become like a member of the family.
A public celebration of Ed’s life will be held on Thursday, December 1st, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. at Spring Creek Mortuary located at 737 North Main, Springville, Utah. Prior to the life celebration, visitors can pay respects to the Harness family at a public visitation from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Following the celebration, family and friends are invited to a balloon launch at the mortuary in Ed’s memory.
To view the service remotely, go to Spring Creek Mortuary Facebook page.
In lieu of flowers, the Harness family asks that you take your family, gather them close, and do something you all enjoy together.
To leave condolences, visit www.springcreekmortuary.com