Obituary of Jane Marie Harmon
HARMON, Jane Marie, slipped away unexpectedly but peacefully in her sleep on 5 December 2019. Her final acts included messages to her twin sister Joyce, the completion of a work deliverable, a couple of Facebook posts, and a round of questing on World of Warcraft.
66 years earlier she arrived this world 10 minutes ahead of her sister and by all accounts looked it square in the eye and said "try me". The second youngest of five children, she was the daughter of a Methodist minister father and a school teacher mom. Hers was a family that encouraged robust discussion at the dinner table and this turned her into an able debater on a number of topics and a lifelong Democrat. She attended Illinois Wesleyan University initially studying Astronomy thanks to the influence of Star Trek and along the way discovered Physics, the field in which she earned her degree. She took her education to Washington DC at the Defense Mapping Agency, who promptly turned her into a Cobol programmer. Continuing to stretch the limits she then went on to work in the Office of Research and Development at the CIA where, for years, no one was quite sure what she was up to. She was a beloved and motivational employee of Excel Technologies in Herndon Virginia where she was supporting the US Forest Service at the time of her passing.
Willing to fall in love but unwilling to be trapped, Jane never succumbed to the lure of marriage, instead choosing to remain independently owned and operated. Throughout her life she surrounded herself with friends who had one qualifying requirement: they must not be stupid. This resulted in a menagerie of lasting friendships with a number of quirky individuals. Her one constant along her life's path was her sister Joyce, with whom she spoke daily often laying down plans what the two would do together after her retirement. She had dreams and every expectation that death would wait for her to finish what she was working on.
In addition to a quick wit, avid thirst for knowledge, and wide circle of friends, she could spin alpaca fiber and wool into extremely fine yarn. Artistic at heart, she frequently painted and was happy to explore a number of other fine arts and crafts. In her later years at work she won a reputation for designing disaster exercise scenarios that were both terrifying and realistically possible. There was no technology she wouldn't tackle and no technical problem she couldn't find and write a solution for.
She is pre-deceased by her father Reverend Dale Harmon and mother, Isabel Shaffer Harmon. She is survived by her brother Robert Harmon, and her sisters Dorothy Smalley, Carol Harmon, and Joyce Harmon as well as her cats Bennie and Abby. She firmly believed that if there was an afterlife it would include all of her previous pets - and she is likely playing with that crowd now.
In lieu of flowers and gifts please consider a donation to the Cincinnati Zoo (home of Fiona the Hippo) in memory of Jane Harmon. The link to the donation page can be found here: