Hildur Margaret Harms Born 20 May 1931 Entered eternal life 6 March 2018.
We remember Margaret Harms as the dear wife of Alvin Harms, treasured mother of Kathie, Tom (Karen), Mary Ann (Mark) and Phil, and loving grandmother to Luke (Ashley), Jenny, Grace, Sarah, Keera, Amy, Isaac and Magnus. She was a pillar and a role model for her family through her unconditional love, her strong faith and service to others.
Hildur Margaret Harms was born of Norwegian parents Arthur and Jenny Lien and raised along with her sister Ruth near Donalda, Alberta. Their farm was one-half mile from Bethany Lutheran Church which was central to their life. Her mother sang hymns to the girls and her dad serenaded them with a corn guitar. These were her early memories of music enjoyment, along with receiving lessons on a pump organ that they managed to purchase. Often their home was central for meetings so that the church didn’t need heating up by Arthur. When she was nine her father passed away leaving Jenny to manage the affairs of farm living. With Norwegian determination her mother managed to move the farm house built by Arthur to Camrose so that Marg and her younger sister could attend Camrose Lutheran College.
Margaret received a Bachelor of Education at the University of Alberta in 1955 and during her studies she was an announcer for CKUA radio promoting university musicians. She later obtained her Masters of Education in 1966 at Oregon State University. She was a classroom teacher (1955-1965) and a visiting teacher (1965-1971) to work with troubled teens. Margaret advocated for the board to provide a school for unwed mothers so they might continue their education.
She married Fred Melham in 1957. He passed away shortly before their third child was born. It was then she knew her greatest dependence was on God. God blessed Marg in 1971 with her marriage to Al and together they enjoyed a blended family. As Margaret put it, her life was full and enriched by the fine quality of Alvin’s life. Besides their deep love for one another, they shared faith, friendships, travel and loved listening to the great classics.
Church worship music was one of Marg’s passions. Worship and Music Conferences affirmed her passions and opened pathways for her energy and imagination as a music educator. She chaired committees, was a workshop presenter, co-directed Midsummer Music, and was a consultant for the Lutheran Book of Worship in North America. She worked in a variety of capacities with the International Association of Lutheran Church Musicians. Margaret was recognized for significant contributions during the time she was vice president. In 2000 at the ELCIC National Worship Conference the title of Companion of the Worship Arts was conferred on her in recognition of her contributions to worship life. She felt richly blessed, from an early age of 16 until she retired from music leadership at age 79, observing that music was an intrinsic part of worship and an expression of her faith guided by the Holy Spirit’s leading.
Marg’s desire to connect family from all generations was a focus throughout her life by initiating family trips to Norway, Sweden and England, family reunions in Calgary and faithfully communicating with so many around the world. In recent years, Margaret began to write her life story, a creative account of life milestones, leaving us her precious stories and facts to treasure. Margaret’s creative spirit was evident in many of the things she enjoyed; she was a gourmet cook, card maker, knitter, interior decorator, music lover, and an avid gardener. She passed down some of these interests, inspired her family and friends, impacting us daily. We will remember her warm smile, kind generosity, her courageous spirit, inner strength and love for God. A joint funeral for long time members Margaret Harms and Alvin Harms was held here at Hope on March 27, 2018.