Zella ‘Fern’ Harnish

April 14, 1941 – March 22, 2020

Graveside services for Zella Harnish will be held at 11 a.m. July 11 at Sheridan Municipal Cemetery. Zella “Fern” Harnish was born on April 14, 1941 to Lee Roy and Velma Fay (Donaldson) Harnish, joining sister Frances (Smith) where they made their home in Buffalo, and in time were joined by three more sisters Florence (Guest), Fay (McClelland) and Phyllis Faith (Craig). After graduating high school Fern married Roy Albert Butler in 1957. The couple moved to San Pablo, California, and their son Danny Lee was born. By 1959 the family had moved on to Worland where Mr. Butler was working for a lumber clearing company when they were joined by their daughter Debbie Marie, born in 1959. Fern and Roy divorced, and Fern made her way in life with the help of her loving parents in caring for and raising Danny and Debbie while Fern worked two jobs. During the day she worked at Brown Drug Store and by night at the Golden Steer in Sheridan. By 1964-65 Fern met and married Ronald Deloss Blanchard. For a short time, the family moved to California until Mr. Blanchard got a job in the oil field, which then took the family to Rock Springs, Cut Bank, Montana and on to Gillette when in 1969 they were joined by daughter Cynthia Diane. In 1970 the family moved to Las Palmas, The Canary Islands of Spain for 1 1/2 yrs. Then returning to the USA for a short time in Story until January of 1973 they were transferred to Aberdeen, Scotland. Fern loved Scotland and the way of life there watching her children grow up. By 1986-87 Fern and Ron moved back to Gillette where they divorced. Fern met and married Deiter Hinz in 1988-89, and they made their home in Sparwood, B.C. and Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, until their divorce in 2008. In 2013, due to Alzheimer’s disease Fern decided to return to Wyoming to be close to her children until the time of her death. 

Fern very much loved her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and spending as much time as possible with them. Everyone was her friend, “Move It and Groove It” or “Shake It and Bake It” were her favorite sayings for family, friends and staff at the nursing home. Fern loved to sew quilts, Christmas stockings, doll clothes, cloth dolls and many other art and crafts projects she could find to make for someone. 

Fern was preceded in death by her parents and one grandson, Daniel Saint. Survivors include son Danny (Debbie) Blanchard; daughters, Debbie (Terry) Reimers and Cindy (Ananda) Newmark with many wonderful grand and great-grandchildren. 

Memorials and condolences may be sent in care of Walker Funeral Home 410 Medical Arts Court, Gillette, WY 82716. Condolences may also be expressed at www.walkerfuneralgillette.com