Jean Phillips Harshbarger/ 94/ died Saturday/ June 9/ 2018 at the Village at Morrison's Cove/ Martinsburg. She was born in Alexandria on May 15/ 1924/ the eldest daughter of William C. and Essie Tilley Phillips. She attended Alexandria schools/ graduating in 1942 from Alexandria High School. In 1946/ she completed the requirements at Bucknell University for a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Journalism.
While still in college/ she began working during the summers as a reporter and columnist for The Daily News, where she was the first writer of the
"Along the Juniata" column. Upon her graduation from college/ she was employed full-time at The Daily News in 1946-4 7. Later/ from 1968 until 1970/ she was a part-time instructor in English Composition at Juniata College.
On December 29/ 1946/ Jean married William R. Harshbarger. It was the second time they were married/ having been the bride and groom in a
"Tom Thumb" wedding when they were children. They were the parents of
a son and daughter/ William C. Harshbarger of Seattle/ Washington/ and Susan Scott Taylor of Havant, England/ who survive. Other survivors are her daughter-in-law Tammy Guy Harshbarger; her son-in-law Timothy Taylor; granddaughter Jennifer Taylor lssah, her husband Sol/ and their sons Joshua and Alexander; and granddaughter Rachael Taylor Smith and husband Andrew/ and their sons Jacob and Benjamin/ all of whom live in England. Three sisters also survive: Joanne Dolnikowski and Connie Shaffer/ Huntingdon/ and Billie Sue Lang and husband Charles of Petersburg. Her husband preceded her in death in 1990.
As a long-time resident of Alexandria/ where her father's family had lived
for many qenerations, Jean became a student of the history of the Hartslog region and of the genealogy of its families. Her research led to her role as principal author of Hartslog Heritage in 1975 and to the founding of
Hartslog Day and the Hartslog Heritage Museum. The discovery of diaries kept by Alexandria resident Mary Bellman from 1870-1901 led to a series of historical columns Jean wrote for The Daily News in 197 4-75 and the publication of Mary Bet/men's Alexandria in 1977. Her skill at compiling and writing up the results of her careful research made a lasting contribution to preserving her hometown's history, which was recognized by a scholarship established in 2014 by Hartslog Heritage Museum in her name and that of her co-authors, Nancy Taylor and the late Sara Zabriskie.
Jean's abilities in research and writing made similar contributions to the Huntingdon County Historical Society, where she served as a board member and chief genealogist from 1978-1987. The family files in the Society's research library are full of her detailed responses to persons seeking knowledge of their family history. She also led the Society's project to gather information for the Smithsonian Institution's Inventory of
American Painting Before 1914, recording and photographing more than 350 paintings owned by county residents. She was also the chief surveyor in Alexandria and three surrounding townships for the Society's Historic Sites Survey in 1977-79. In 1986-87, she planned, researched and co-authored with Nancy Shedd the Society's Bicentennial publication, Second Century: A Huntingdon County Bicentennial Album. The book received an Award of Merit from the Pennsylvania Federation of Historical Societies.
During that project, Jean's husband's failing health prompted their move to The Village at Morrison's Cove, where they made new friends and where her talents were recognized when she was asked to be a trustee of the retirement community there, a position she held from 1995-2003. Jean was a member of the Society of Friends and of the Quaker congregation in Huntingdon. She attended services at the Church of the Brethren in Martinsburg.
A memorial service will be held at 11 :00 am on Friday, June 15, at the Cutright Funeral Home - Juniata Valley Chapel, 412 Main Street, Alexandria.
Private Family Interment. Memorial contributions in her name can be sent to the Hartslog Heritage Museum, PO Box 3, Alexandria, Pennsylvania 16611, or to The Village at Morrison's Cove, 429 S. Market St., Martinsburg, Pennsylvania 16662.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Cutright Funeral Homes -Juniata Valley Chapel, 412 Main Street, Alexandria, Pennsylvania 16611.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jean (Phillips) Harshbarger, please visit our floral store.
Hartslog Heritage Museum
P. O. Box 3, Alexandria PA 16611
The Village at Morrison's Cove
429 S. Market Street, Martinsburg PA 16662