Nanci Harder

Obituary of Nanci Jo Harder

Our fun, sassy, and super fancy Nanci passed away on Wednesday December 15th. We imagine she is catching up with Tom, Phyllis, and all her fond friends in the great beyond. She is probably driving a little too fast, raising a glass, serving up food for a great big bash, and having a good laugh. Our love for her is endless. Nanci Jo McKenna Harder was born to Leo and Ethel (McCreight) McKenna on March 9, 1942, and passed away on December 15, 2021. She was the oldest of three siblings that were raised in Spokane by a fireman and a secretary. Nanci’s early years in grade and middle school introduced her to many friends that would remain close for life, including Phyllis (Eberle) Maguire (they were both 5 years old), Sue Bowman, and Allis McClane. They formed a rough and tumble bicycle gang ;-) known as the Boresome Foursome. Nanci enrolled at Holy Names Academy for her High School education, and to help pay her tuition took a job in the summer of 1957 helping cook for a haying crew near Ritzville. That’s where she met Tom Harder. Nanci and Tom were married in 1961, began a family, and lived the ranch life for many years. During the 70s and 80s, Tom’s hobby of poultry grew and they built a successful business hatching dozens of species of game birds and breeds of poultry. Nanci was an avid reader, an accomplished bridge player, completed nearly every crossword puzzle that fell in front of her, was a wonderful cook, a gracious hostess, and welcomed her children’s friends and mates as if they were her own. Nanci was involved in many charitable activities including those sponsored by PEO and as a member of the Ritzville Library Board of Directors. Tom passed away in 2007, and she moved to Spokane to be closer to family and childhood friends. During these years, she continued playing bridge and traveled to visit family. Nanci was preceded in death by her loving husband Tom, and her dear friend Phyllis (Eberle) Maguire. Nanci is survived by her brother Patrick McKenna and sister Michelle Hernandez; daughter Annine Harder and her children David (Cristen) O’Donnell, Samantha McCrady, Rachael McCrady; son Michael (Heidi) Harder and their children Katherine and Blake; son Paul (Kawna) Harder and their children Luke and Bella; and son David (Jenny) Harder, and their sons Reed, Miles, and Wade; and “gang” members Sue Bowman and Allis McClane. Nanci loved social events, had a fantastic sense of humor, and shared her love with others through food and hospitality. During her life, she served meals to thousands including her family, visitors, anyone who happened to drop in, helping cater events, and donations of poultry from the hatchery business to food banks. She has been a supporter of the Union Gospel Mission, Second Harvest, Meals on Wheels, Tom’s Turkey Drive, and others. Your consideration of food banks and other organizations in your area that care for the hungry would serve her memory well. Nanci greatly enjoyed and embraced her Irish ancestry, with a zest for life, quick wit, and a belief that another potato in the pot was all it took to welcome another to a meal. With love and generosity, she provided a loving home to four children, several grandchildren, exchange students from around the world, and several kids who were between homes. We all wish Nanci well in Heaven. To leave online condolences for the Harder family please visit our website at
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We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Danekas Funeral Home
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