BRADENTON, Fla. – Eda Marian Harkins passed away from natural causes on Jan. 2, 2019 at the Summerfield Memory Care Facility in Bradenton, Fla., at the age of 88. Eda was born on April 3, 1930, in Portland, Maine, to Blanche D. Stronach and Alfred L. Aberle. Eda’s childhood was spent traveling the world as an “Army Brat”, tales of which she proudly shared with her family and friends. At age 14, she and her mother and brother returned to Maine to live, and settled in Auburn.

Eda attended Edward Little High School, where she was a cheerleader and worked at the Pack’s Department Store in the Teen Center. It was during this time that she met a boy from across the bridge, Bobby Harkins, who became her soulmate and the love of her life. Eda graduated from ELHS, Class of 1947, and a year later she and Bob were married. They were married for 67 years, until Bob’s death in 2016.

Eda and Bob welcomed three children over the next five years, the moved their brood from Lewiston to a farm in Poland, where they welcomed their fourth child. On the farm in Poland, Eda saw to the running of the household and the feeding and caring for the horses and other farm animals while Bob was working, which required
considerable travel. The boys were charged with feeding and caring for the animals, while the only girl was learning to cook, clean, and care for the youngest child, which was the custom in the fifties and early sixties. Eda occasionally took a job outside the home when extra money was needed. But when the children were young she was devoted to her family, and was always there when they got off the school bus, with homemade cookies or other snacks.

After the children were grown Eda and Bob sold the farm and built a house on Brandy Pond in Naples, where they enjoyed many years boating, golf, and friends. As they aged they became snowbirds, traveling to Florida for the winter, eventually selling their home in Maine and moving permanently to Florida. They relocated to Bradenton in 2005, to be closer to their son, Jeffery Harkins. Jeff became their caretaker as they aged. Jeff’s devotion to his parents was unsurpassed and will never be forgotten. The other children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren traveled annually to the Bradenton area to visit with “GG” and “GG”, Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa. But Jeff was the constant, and checked on them every day.

Eda was predeceased by her parents; her son, Wm. Stacey Harkins; and her husband, Robert W. Harkins. Eda is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Kathleen Harkins Gorham (Frank) of Gray; her son and daughter-in-law, Robert J. Harkins (Sally) of Bethel; her son, Jeffery L. Harkins of Bradenton, Fla.; seven grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

A private burial service will be held in the spring.

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