Karen L. Harford

October 26, 1940March 29, 2021

Karen Lee Harford died peacefully on March 29, 2021 at the age of 80, with her husband and two sons at her side.

Karen was born in 1940 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. As a young girl, Karen enjoyed shopping with her mother and swinging on the tree swing her father put in one of the large Mulberry trees in their backyard. She graduated from Washington High School in 1958 and married James Harford in 1959. She left her job as a supervisor at the telephone company to start a family, moving to Lincoln, Nebraska in 1970. Always wanting to stay busy, Karen balanced raising a family with pursuing a degree in nutrition from Southeast Community College. This led to being the food service manager at Holmes Elementary School. She finished her professional career working in the accounting department at Ameritas Life Insurance Corp.

Karen cherished her roles in life as a daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. Daily, she would seem to find ways to extend kindness and compassion to those in need, placing their needs before her own, whether it be a visit, conversation, prepared meal, or simply a cup of coffee. The kitchen was a source of joy for Karen, as she loved to cook and bake. She of course learned from her mother, with whom she was extremely close. It brought her immense happiness to share this joy and talent in the kitchen with each of her granddaughters.

Over the years, Karen had numerous interests, including ceramics, knitting, crocheting, gardening, reading, playing the organ and piano, traveling, and exercising. For a period of time, she and James were part-owners of Leisure Crafts, a ceramic store they founded and where Karen taught ceramic lessons. She found the most joy, though, in simply spending time with James and her family and in being a humble, faithful servant of God. Married for over 61 years, she and Jim were inseparable and active in their church community.

Karen is survived by her husband James Harford; sons Kevin (Sonia) Harford and Jeffrey (Denise) Harford; granddaughters Lauren (Seth) Reighard, Kallie Harford, Michaela Harford, and Anna Harford; brother David Clark (Mary Lue) of Arkansas; nephew Michael (Lana) Clark of Florida; and niece Kimberli Clark of Illinois. She is preceded in death by her parents Vernon and Irene Clark.

A visitation will be held on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Lincoln Memorial Funeral Home, 6800 S. 14th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska. A funeral service will be held on Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at First Evangelical Free Church, 3280 S. 84th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska with a graveside service to follow at Lincoln Memorial Funeral Home. In accordance with local health measures, face coverings are necessary and social distancing will be in place. For those who are unable to attend the funeral service in person, the service is being livestreamed at

As an expression of sympathy, memorials may be directed to the family for future designation.  


  • Michael Clark, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Kimberli Clark, Active Pallbearer
  • Bobby Miller, Active Pallbearer
  • Dale Nurnberg, Active Pallbearer
  • Jim McClintick, Active Pallbearer
  • Lauren Reighard, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Seth Reighard, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Kallie Harford, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Michaela Harford, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Anna Harford, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Bradford Southwick , Active Pallbearer
  • Kevin Harford, Active Pallbearer


  • Visitation

    Wednesday, April 7, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Thursday, April 8, 2021


Karen L. Harford

have a memory or condolence to add?

Teri Baer

April 12, 2021

Jim, Kevin, and Jeff -

We are so sorry to hear of Karen's passing. I will remember Karen as just a sweet, smiling person who always seemed interested in you and wanted to know what was going on in your life.

I am glad that my Mom and Dad were good friends with you both over the years.

On behalf of our family, our condolences.

Lorraine Huber
Cris Huber
Kathy and Mike Reily and Family
Teri and Greg Baer and Family

David Clark

April 5, 2021

Karen, I have a memory of Grandma Clark telling me that Mom was bringing home a brand new baby sister, my first and only sibling. I knew you longer than anyone still here. I have many memories of how our early childhood made us collaborators, co-defenders, and confidants, and you were always a loving sister, treating me much better than I deserved. It grieves me greatly that I am unable to attend the final celebration of your life but rest peacefully in God’s arms little sister , knowing that you were loved by many, including an appreciative big brother.

John Bruce

April 5, 2021

Jeff, Jim & Kevin
Sorry to hear of your loss, you and all your families are in our prayers.
Your long time neighbors the Bruce family.

Jim McDonald

April 5, 2021

Jim, We are so sorry to hear about Karen’s passing. Our prayers are with you and your family.

Jim & Mary Kay McDonald

Debbie Wilson

April 4, 2021

We are so sorry for your loss.
With sympathy,
Wayne and Debbie Wilson

Bev Kelsay

April 3, 2021

Jim, What a blessing it was to be a friend of Karen's! She was fun,sweet & was a woman of great faith. From our conversations, her family meant the world to her! My heart goes out to you and your entire family.
She will be greatly missed by all who knew her. My prayers are with you and the entire family,that your beautiful memories will bring some comfort to your hearts in the days ahead . May God give you His peace.

Pat Stork

April 3, 2021

Jim, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you go through this difficult time. May the Lord wrap his arms around you and comfort you. Karen was such a wonderful person with a heart of gold. I was so blessed to get to know her on the Noah’s Ark tour. I pray that you find comfort in the fact that she is celebrating our Lord’s resurrection in heaven with Jesus!

Dave Connely

March 31, 2021

So sorry for your loss. Karen was a wonderful person and always had a good word and smile.