Estate of Bertha Hess Harmon

Estate of Bertha Hess Harmon

In 1982, the Jefferson Community College Foundation received a $7,000 donation from the estate of Bertha Hess Harmon to establish a memorial scholarship in her name. Two recipients from Jefferson Community College are annually recognized, a returning student and a freshman. If the freshman maintains good academic standing, the scholarship is continued a second year. Recipients must show financial need and academic promise or achievement.

Bertha Hess Harmon was born October 29, 1905, in Adams, New York, one of five children of Nelson and Clara Maxon Hess. After attending local schools, she graduated from the Oswego Normal School (now the State University of New York at Oswego), in June 1927, certified to teach elementary grade levels.

Mrs. Harmon’s teaching career began in 1925, when she taught three years at the rural school in Rodman. She then taught 11 years in Gloversville, New York, until 1942. Mrs. Harmon returned to Rodman for eight years before moving back to Adams to teach in the South Jefferson school system, where she remained until her retirement in 1970.

Ildra Rawlings, of Wardwell Settlement in Mannsville, New York, said this of her teaching colleague: “She was an excellent teacher and a very thoughtful person. And Bertha did a great deal for the underprivileged child. If she had free time, she would help them with their work.” Mrs. Harmon’s high school friend, Orrinda Moreton of Worth, New York, said, “I never heard a bad word against her. Bertha was well liked.”

Mrs. Harmon married E. Kenneth Harmon on July 7, 1939, in South Colton. He died April 19, 1979.

Bertha Hess Harmon died March 6, 1982 at age 76.

The Jefferson Community College Foundation is grateful to the estate of Bertha Hess Harmon for establishing this scholarship.