At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Community Baptist Church
119 E Maple St.
Vicksburg, MI 49097
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Life Story / Obituary
With a life that spanned times of war and times of peace, times of plenty and times of want, Gracie Harber was a blessing to those around her. She was a hardworking woman who was completely devoted to her loved ones in every way. Gracie took her roles as wife and mother to heart, but she just may have argued that nothing was better than becoming a grandmother and great-grandmother later in life. Guided by an unwavering faith, she lived to be the hands and feet of the Lord she loved. Life will never be the same without Gracie here, but she leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that her loved ones will forever hold near and dear to their hearts.
The 1920s were a vibrant time in America. Innovation and technology were taking us places we had never been with things like radios, washing machines, and cars that were mass produced on assembly lines all across our great land. Amidst this eventful time was a time of great excitement in the lives of James and Josie (McCullah) Stokes as they were eagerly anticipating the birth of their new baby as February dawned in LaFollette, Tennessee, in 1925. The big day finally arrived when the baby girl they named Gracie drew her first breath. She joined a family of eight children, her siblings, Cecil, Chester, Tom, Jessie, Verlin, and Georgie, and Elmer. Gracie’s parents were hardworking farmers, which meant that she had her fair share of work on the farm. In addition to her work on the farm, she attended local schools and also worked at a family restaurant when she was a bit older.
Of great significance during this time was Gracie’s introduction to the young man of her dreams. His name was George Harber, and they met when she traveled from Tennessee to Michigan to visit her brother. George and her brother were friends, so he introduced them. George was from Missouri, although he had recently moved to Michigan. Gracie and George soon fell in love, but she returned to Tennessee. They had a long distance relationship for three months that followed, and with a desire to spend the rest of their lives together Gracie and George were married on Halloween. A little surprise set up for the couple on their wedding day. Since she knew the local police from the restaurant, they set it up so they would issue an arrest warrant for George for transporting a minor across state lines as a joke. Although the police were ready and waiting for the couple, Gracie’s mother felt bad and tipped the couple off, which allowed them to take back roads to “escape” the police. The newlyweds then moved to Kalamazoo, and she worked at Illinois Envelope there for a while.
Life truly began for Gracie when she got married. Together she and George welcomed three children, Sharon, Donna, and Vickie, into their hearts and home. Gracie was an active part of their daughters’ lives, and she made her family her primary focus. They always had a pet dog in the home as well. As a family they looked forward to annual vacations to Tennessee where they visited family. Gracie and George took trips with their brothers and sisters and friends. They loved becoming grandparents later in life. They enjoyed 50 wonderful years together before George passed away in 1992. Gracie was always very active in the lives of her grandchildren.
Throughout her life Gracie was one to keep busy. She was an amazing Southern cook, and among her family’s favorites were her macaroni and cheese, fried chicken, and pie. A faithful Christian, Gracie loved reading her Bible, and she was active in her church all her life. She volunteered in a variety of ways including in helping with meals. Gracie was an avid gardener who loved working outside in her yard. When it came to music, she liked listening to both Christian and country music, and her favorite television shows included NCIS, Seventh Heaven, and Little House on the Prairie.
Outgoing, fun-loving, and kind are just a few of the words that describe the extraordinary woman that Gracie Harber was. She lived a life to purpose and was content in whatever life brought, even when she faced trying times. Gracie treasured her family, and she was happiest when surrounded by their love. She will never be forgotten.
Gracie Harber, of Vicksburg, went to be with the Lord on March 24, 2018, at her home. Gracie’s family includes her three daughters: Sharon (Frank) Burr, Donna Cartwright and Vickie (Brian) Klassen; six grandchildren: Angela (Kristopher) Wilson, Joseph Cartwright, Wendy (Darin Frederickson) Burr, Tracy (Mark) Thomas, Scott (Nicole) Klassen, Lisa (Adam) Brewer; six great grandchildren: Stephen, Josh, Hannah, Sydney, William, Stevine and a baby on the way as well as several nieces and nephews. Gracie was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, George; and six siblings. Visit with her family and friends and view her film on Monday, April 2 from 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. at the McCowen & Secord Family Funeral Home, Vicksburg; 409 S. Main St. (269 649-1697). A funeral service will follow at 11:00 a.m. at the same location. Please visit Gracie’s memory page at www.mccowensecord.com where you can archive a memory or photo and sign her memory book online. Memorial contributions can be made to Community Baptist Church of Vicksburg or Hospice Care of South West Michigan.