Obituary for Bill Harney

Ponca City Now - June 21, 2022 4:04 pm

Bill R Harney

November 3, 1939 – June 21, 2022

Bill R. Harney departed his earthly journey on June 21, 2022 at his home in Perry, Oklahoma with his faithful caregiver by his side. He was born November 3, 1939 in Ponca City, OK to Lee Ross and Grace Jeanette (Miller) Harney. He grew up on the family farm south of Ponca with his three brothers before graduating from Ponca City High school in 1958. He went on to earn his degree in Agricultural Science from Oklahoma State University in January of 1963.

Bill and the former Jan Leathers were married on November 17, 1962 in Ponca City. He worked for the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conversation Service (Soil Conservation Service) for 42 years. He began his work in Atoka, OK and later served the communities of Cherokee, Enid, Alva, Perry, Medford, Newkirk and Tahlequah. He retired in 2004, but continued to work on the family farm growing wheat, cattle and horses until his health wouldn’t allow.

He was a hard worker and enjoyed being outside growing and fixing things. He could fix just about anything including things around the house, tractors, cars and gadgets of all kinds. He would always stop along the highway to help anyone who was having car trouble and get them rolling again. They would thank him and offer to pay, but he would always refuse and say, “Just stop and help the next guy when you can.”

He was a lifelong Cowboy supporter and especially enjoyed Cowboy basketball. All three of the Harney kids graduated from OSU and continued the family tradition. Later two of his grandchildren would also graduate from the university.

Bill and Jan were the loving parents of three children: Jo Ewy of Edmond, Dr. Gina Harney of McKinney, TX and Douglas Harney who preceded him in death in 2005.

Bill is survived by his wife, Jan, who faithfully cared for him through his health challenges. He is also survived by his daughter Jo Ewy and husband Erron of Edmond and Dr. Gina Harney and husband Steve McFarlane of McKinney, TX. He is also survived by grandchildren Brooke Ketch and husband Josh Ketch, Bryce Ewy, Oliver Prows, Willow McFarlane and River McFarlane as well as great grandchildren Keegan Ketch and Kaiden Ketch. Also surviving are his brother Max Harney as well as several nieces, nephews, and cousins. Lifelong friends Dean and Darlene Peters became chosen family, and the two couples shared a lifetime of special memories together through the years.

Preceding him in death were his parents, brothers Jack Harney and Duane Harney.

Bill looked forward to family reunions at various lakes with the Miller family reunion with dozens of cousins enjoying fishing, food and fellowship. He also enjoyed Harney reunions at Lake Ponca Park and reunions with the Millers at Kaw Lake. The family enjoyed time with the Leathers family at Lake Texoma. Bill was an avid hunter and sportsman who enjoyed quail hunting in Alva, OK, snow skiing with the family and friends in Taos, NM. He and Jan learned how to grow a healthy crop of chile peppers and loved to roast and share them with friends and family. Bill loved Jan’s creative cooking adventures using their chiles.

Many family memories were made on the family farm working cattle together. Even as his health faded, he enjoyed being around his great grandchildren and watching his great grandsons’ baseball games

The family is extremely grateful to the staff at Karmen Legacy Hospice and Debbie Lile for their loving and attentive care over the last days of his illness. The family is especially grateful to Joshua Bell for his support and prayers.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Ronald McDonald House, 1301 NE 14th St., OKC, OK. 73117.

Graveside services will be held at Odd Fellows Cemetery in Ponca City, Oklahoma on Friday, June 24th at 10am with Reverend Joshua Bell officiating.

We’re not saying “goodbye.” We will see you later one day.

Arrangements are under the direction of Trout Funeral Home of Perry, 1408 N 7th St, Perry, OK 73077. We invite you to leave a message of condolence, expression of sympathy or perhaps share a memory of Billy at

Source: Trout Funeral Home