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Mrs. Diane L. Harkness
  • Cereal City Lions Club
    P.O. Box 790
    Battle Creek, MI 49016
  • East Leroy Congregational Church
    1997 H. Drive South
    East Leroy, MI 49051

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“I'm sorry to have missed such a beautiful service for Diane. We sure miss her at Church. Such a lovely woman full of grace with a big loving heart....Read More »
1 of 7 | Posted by: Rosemary Bernath - Fulton, MI

“(the rest of Connie's memory)At some point she moved back to the place she lived in the rest of her life. I visited her often and would take her out...Read More »
2 of 7 | Posted by: Jan Jordan - Salt Lake City, UT

“When Jan informed me that Diane had passed away, I told her that I would let the family members from Cleveland (Shirley, Phyllis, and Sharon) know...Read More »
3 of 7 | Posted by: Robert Garrett - Maineville, OH

“"by another mother" has joined my own mother in Heaven. To my cherished friend/sister, my heart breaks for your loss, for the loss to all Harkness...Read More »
4 of 7 | Posted by: Sue Ohde - Chetek, WI

“Diane was my first boss at WK Kellogg when I was a senior in high school. She was a wonderful lady and mentor. And she came to see me retire 40 years...Read More »
5 of 7 | Posted by: Jodie King-Cole - Dowling, MI

“I got to know Diane when she was secretary to the adult education department under John Krajenta. He was on our board at Charitable Union and I had...Read More »
6 of 7 | Posted by: Patricia Root - Battle Creek, MI

“Dear Julie and family, I was shocked to read this news about your sweet Mom. It seems like I just seen her not long ago but nonetheless, I am so very...Read More »
7 of 7 | Posted by: Kim Heyerman Yarger - MI - Friend

Heart Emblem

Diane L. Harkness, age 85, of Battle Creek passed away Saturday morning, May 30, 2020. She was born in Battle Creek on November 23, 1934, the daughter of Dale S. and Doris B. (Whitcomb) Chidester.

Diane was raised in Battle Creek, attended Battle Creek Public Schools until the 10th grade, transferring to Lakeview High School and graduated with the Class of 1952. She then graduated from the Felt & Tarrent Comptometer School in Grand Rapids. Diane was first employed by the Kellogg Company as a Comptometrist.

Diane met Jack W. Harkness on a blind date to a Lion's Club function. They married at the First Congregational Church, Battle Creek on February 19, 1955. They began their family with John arriving in 1956, James in 1957, and Julie in 1958. When the children reached school age, Diane returned to work, first at Community Hospital for a short period in the Collections Department and then for Ashley Dairy for 4 years as a Comptometrist. Diane then started work as a secretary for the Battle Creek Public Schools at WK Kellogg Jr. High, the Administration Offices, Urbandale Elementary and Adult Education. She retired on June 30, 1995 after 25 years. In her retirement, she also worked as a substitute secretary.

Diane was a member of the East Leroy Congregational Church. She was a former member of the First Congregational Church in Battle Creek, and a Charter Member of its 23rd Circle. Diane was a Charter Member of the Battle Creek Lioness Club and a former member of the Cereal City Lions Club. She enjoyed dancing, playing cards, reading, traveling, collecting lions, and spending time with her family.

She was preceded in death by her husband Jack on July 6, 1991; by her son, John D. Harkness; her daughter-in-law, Karen Harkness; and her parents, Dale S. & Evelyn M. (Steve) Chidester.

Surviving are her son, James G. Harkness of Battle Creek; her daughter, Julia Lynne (Donald) Van Syckle of New Berlin, Wisconsin; 8 grandchildren, Megan Skaggs, Ashley Hayes, and Seth Harkness of Kentucky. Lisa Nichols, April Sherrill, and Brian Sherrill of Michigan, Matt Van Syckle and Lacey Van Syckle of Wisconsin; 15 great-grandchildren Camden Skaggs, Xander Skaggs, Amelia Kate Hayes, Serenity Harkness, Kinley Harkness, Destiny Nichols, Skylar Nichols, Tyler Mahoney, Katie Sherrill, Isabella McAllister, Tyler Haywood, Jeremy Haywood, Dylan Haywood, Michael Sherrill, Alex Sherrill; 3 great-great-grandchildren Lylah Springer, Ayden Springer and Jayce Springer; 3 brothers, David Chidester, Donald Chidester, and Douglas (Patty) Chidester; 1 sister, Jan (William) Jordan; several nieces & nephews, and her special friend Leonard Hart.

The family will receive friends 12:30 to 2:00 p.m., Saturday, July 25th at Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care, Battle Creek where a memorial service to celebrate Diane's life will be held at 2:00 p.m. The service may be viewed online by visiting or by visiting the Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care Facebook page. Interment will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery. Memorials directed to the Cereal City Lions Club or the East Leroy Congregational Church, would be appreciated.