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Celebration of Life for Mark and Mary Jo Harvey: 2 p.m. Saturday, May 7, 2022, at Frank & Bright Funeral Home in Flora
Interment: Elmwood Cemetery, with the presentation of military funeral honors
Memorial Visitation: 1-2 p.m. on Saturday at the funeral home
Memorial Donations: Clay County Hospice
All are welcome to attend and share in remembering their lives with laughter and love.
Mark S. Harvey, age 90, of Flora, Illinois, passed away January 11, 2022.
Mark Sterling Harvey was born July 12, 1931, in Potter County, Pennsylvania. He was the first-born to Mark G. and Eloise (Buckley) Harvey, and had two younger siblings, Jane and Garey. His parents wanted to name him after his late grandfather, Ray, but due to family objections he was named Mark, after his father. His parents and family called him Ray his whole life – but when he married, his wife (Mary Jo) wanted him to be called Mark, and henceforth he was known as Mark.
Mark and his family lived in Pennsylvania during his childhood, but during his teenage years, when his father started working for Halliburton, Mark and his family moved frequently – from Pennsylvania to Illinois, and many places around central and southern Illinois. During his high school years, he worked detasseling corn and, in a bit of foreshadowing, as an ice cream scooper at Park Dairy in Mattoon, IL. He graduated from Crossville High School in Crossville, IL, in 1949, and in the summer of 1950 he and his family moved to Mt. Pleasant, MI. Soon after, he followed in his father’s footsteps and began working for Halliburton, and in the summer of 1951, when his mother urged him to “come meet the cute girl playing piano at church,” he met his wife. Mark and Mary Jo (Childs) Harvey were wed in Mt. Pleasant, MI, on April 11, 1952.
Shortly after their wedding, Mark was drafted into the Army and the couple moved to Fort Knox, KY, for basic training. Mark was then stationed in Kaiserslautern, Germany for 14 months, and while he was overseas Mary Jo gave birth to their first daughter, Shara Rae, in April 1953. When Mark returned from his Army service in 1954, he and Mary Jo moved to Flora, IL, with Halliburton, where they lived for 30 years and welcomed three more children: Marjorie Lee (April, 1955), Jeffery Dee (February, 1960), and Joni Louise (October, 1966).
Mark worked for Halliburton for 20 years, and after his “retirement” in 1971, he and Mary Jo purchased the Ranch Motel in Flora, where they made taking care of patrons a family affair. In 1978, they sold the motel and purchased the Ice Cream Round-Up in Louisville, where Mark once again served ice cream and treats. In the mid-80s, they moved to Amarillo, TX, and managed apartment complexes, and then “re-retired” by moving into a 5th-wheel and managing RV parks while traveling out west. They loved the RV lifestyle, the southwest, Texas, and one of their favorite RV parks in Fun Valley, CO, where they spent 7 summers living and working. In 2000, Mark and Mary Jo “officially retired” and settled down, once again in Flora, where their roots went back almost 50 years.
In addition to Halliburton, the Ranch Motel, and the Ice Cream Round-Up, Mark was a school bus driver, an Exalted Ruler of the Flora Elks, and a member of the Board of Directors at Flora Bank & Trust. Mark attended First Baptist Church, was a deacon at First Christian Church, and most recently attended New Beginnings Church. In his retirement he stayed active – walking frequently, being a delivery driver for McDaniel Bros, and driving a bus for Clay County Industries. He also spent several summers driving the Sno Cone cart around the south end of Flora, once again peddling cold sweets to kids of all ages.
Mark – also known as “Harv” by family and friends – was known for his no-nonsense gruff exterior and his warm heart. He rarely complained, but expected rules to be adhered to – and was even known to make his grandchildren eat their popsicles in the bathtub because one (we won’t name names) was too messy with her push-pop. He wanted his children and grandchildren to work hard, give more than 100%, be loyal, and take pride in what they did. He and Mary Jo lived in Heritage Woods for over 3 years, and in April 2021 celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary, an extraordinary milestone.
Mark is survived by his sister, Jane (Harvey) Snyder, who says she learned these things from her big brother: 1) It’s okay to give your little brother and sister extra ice cream when you’re the one dipping; 2) You play extra hard when you know your family is in the stands cheering for you; 3) Finding a life partner who has similar values and expectations is worth gold; 4) Even though it is difficult to be sent to far-off places, you can leave knowing your family will take care of each other in your absence; 5) Coming home to a new child you’ve never seen before is pure joy; 6) The satisfaction of establishing your life in a small community and feeling as if you’re coming home again is what life is all about – raising your family in that environment makes it even better; 7) Nothing in a life well-lived comes without hard work and dedication; 8) Being retired doesn’t mean you stop being productive and doing good things for yourself and others, and finally; 9) “Do not go gentle into that good night” but know when it’s time to embrace the inevitable and rejoice in going home again for the first time.
Mark passed on at Flora Care Center on January 11, 2022. He was 90 years old. He is survived by his sister, Jane; four children, Shara (Jeff) Wilkins, Marjorie (Bob) Schroeder, Jeff (Shari) Harvey, and Joni (Terry) Orand; eight grandchildren, Amy Simpson, Shannon Hurliman, Brandi Brown, Mallory Rae, Ashley Willison, Ryan Orand, Trenton Harvey, and Ariel Orand; 13 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
Mark was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Jo; parents, Mark and Eloise Harvey; his in-laws Arthur and Minnie Childs; and his brother Garey Harvey.
A Celebration of Life for Mark and Mary Jo Harvey will be held Saturday, May 7, at Frank & Bright Funeral Home from 1-2 pm, with a service following at 2 pm. All are welcome to attend and share in remembering their lives with laughter and love. Following the memorial service there will be a burial with military rights at Elmwood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Clay County Hospice and will be accepted through the Frank & Bright funeral home.
Both Mark and Mary Jo attended 3 of our grandchildren’s weddings. We certainly appreciated their taking time to come. They will be missed by us and their family.
What a lovely summation of Mark's life! I'm sorry for the family's and their friends loss but always happy for Heaven's gain. Love to all.
So sorry for your loss.
Sorry to hear of Mark's passing. Great guy.
Simply wonderful example of a man and how to treat others. My condolences to all his family and friends. May God bless his soul.
My condolences to the family of Mark and Mary Jo. I got acquainted with Mark during the three summers I worked for Halliburton in Flora, IL while going to college in the late 50s. Mark was very helpful to me when I worked at Halliburton and he was one of my favorite people during that time of my life. Mark and Mary Jo were neighbors of my parent's house on 7th Street where I grew up . I remember them well and I wish them Eternal Peace.
Mark was such a sweet man, I enjoyed getting to know him in my time at Heritage Woods. He and Mary Jo we always be a couple of my favorites. Prayers to your family.
Beautifully written Shan, What a wonderful tribute to a great guy. I know they're both celebrating together painfree. Hugs to you all.
I am so sad about Uncle Mark’s homegoing, even though I know how much he missed Aunt Mary. My heart goes out to all of you losing two parents so close together. Sending so much love your way. You are all on my mind. 💔
So sorry for your loss. Mike enjoyed their conversations in the dining room at Heritage Woods. Mark loved to sit outside in the sun, and as I came and went I don’t think he ever missed saying a cheery “Hi Sandy”! He will be remembered fondly, and missed very much!
So sorry for your loss.
Shara, I’m so sorry for your loss. Your dad sure had a life well-lived. I know you will miss him terribly. You and your family are in my thoughts and my prayers.
Our hearts are with you all. A sad time losing our parents. A peaceful time knowing their pain and difficulties are done. And best of all Jesus face to face! I have fond memories of both! Good people to grow up around!
So sorry for your loss. Prayers.
Prayers of comfort for all of Mark and Mary Jo’s family. Rest in God’s Peace 🕊
We are very sorry for your loss!!! You have our deepest sympathy!!!
Condolences to all of Harv’s family and friends. Heaven is receiving a good man
I'm sorry for your loss. I know it helps to know that you will be able go to be with him and be with him throughout all eternity.
Harvey was a good man, a good workmate, I knew him and Mary Jo quite well, they was in attendance at our wedding. My prayers and thoughts are with the entire family, so sorry for your loss.
We loved Harve and JoJo and feel so blessed to have known them through their beautiful daughter, Margie. May the family find joy in knowing their legacy of faith and family was well displayed throughout Harve and Jojo’s lifetime. May Jesus’ promises and gift of eternal life give them all comfort and peace. They will both be dearly missed.
My thoughts and prayers are with the family. Always enjoyed being around Mark and Mary Jo. They were a special couple!
I remember Mr. Harvey from my pee wee football days. He was always a super guy and supportive of all the kids on the teams. Sorry for the loss to his family.
Shara and family, so sorry to hear of Marks passing. Early in my Halliburton career Harv provided me with excellent advice. He expected nothing less than 110%, and a do it right the first time approach. Even after his retirement many Halliburton employees could be found at the Ranch Motel seeking his advice. He always took the time to listen, coach and mentor many of us. He will be missed by all who knew him. RIP Harv#5778
a good man and couple. They were good neighbors. They took over the Ranch Motel from my grandparents very well. I enjoyed knowing Marge and Bob in public school. "blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted" from Christ in the Bible.
Prayers are with the family what an amazing man
Mark and Mary Jo were two of my favorites. I spent a lot of time with them growing up. I’ve know Mary Jo all my life because we lived in the same town I know they are missed but someday we will see them face to face again. Love to all of you.
Frank & Bright Funeral Home
and Cremation Services
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