Donna W. Harman of Waterloo


Donna W. Harman, 94, of Waterloo and formerly of Perry entered eternal Heaven Friday, May 8, 2020.

Born on Aug. 13, 1925, to Ernest Eugene and Florence Dorothy Besh Wheeler, Donna grew up in Waterloo and graduated from West High in 1943 and UNI with a B.A. in childhood education in 1947.

Donna married Eldred J. Harman June 24, 1950, at First Presbyterian Church in Waterloo. He died September 30, 2011. Eldred and Donna have two children, James R. Harman of Clear Lake and Jayne (David) Hintz of Lowden. They also have two grandchildren, Aaron Hintz and fiancé, Jenny Valliere, of Cedar Rapids and Sarah (Carson) Wells of Leland, North Carolina.

Donna taught elementary school in Beloit, Wisconsin, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Falls and Waterloo. She was a pioneer in, and champion of, early childhood education. Donna served on the UNI Foundation, the UNI Alumni Board, UNI College of Education Advisory Committee and the Regents Center for Early Development Education Leadership Council.

Donna and Eldred left a lasting impact on their community through their philanthropic generosity. Together they established scholarships at UNI and veterinary scholarships at Iowa State University, loyally supported the UNI Foundation, including the UNI Dome, Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center and the McLeod Center.

They supported numerous initiatives in Waterloo and the First Presbyterian Church, where Donna had been a member for 83 years. She also served as a deacon for the church.

Donna was a lifelong member of PEO Chapter KS.

Donna and Eldred enjoyed traveling and traveled all over the world together. Donna also enjoyed reading, playing bridge and spending time with her family.

Donna is survived by her son, James; daughter, Jayne; and her grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister, Jane (Bob) Nagel of Denver, Colorado; sisters-in-law, Elaine Harman of Mason City and Nadine Harman of Roseville, California; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and three brothers-in-law.

Private family graveside services will take place at Waterloo Memorial Park Cemetery, and a recording of the service will be posted on the funeral home’s website following the service on Monday. First Presbyterian of Waterloo will play one of Donna’s favorite hymns on their carillon Wednesday, May 13, at noon. You may visit the church Facebook page at that time to hear the hymn and observe a moment of remembrance and prayer.

Friends who wish may direct memorials to: Waterloo First Presbyterian Church, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, UNI Foundation or ISU Foundation. Cards sent to the funeral home will be forwarded to the family. Locke Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be left at


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.