Mary Harder

Mary Louise Harder, 72, of Grand Island passed away Wednesday, June 5, 2019, at Bryan Medical Center West.

Her services will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Apfel Funeral Home, with Pastor Trudy Hanke officiating.

Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday at Apfel Funeral Home. Memorials are suggested to the family for later designation. Online condolences can be sent to the family at

Mary was born on Sept. 9, 1946, to Loyal and Alberta (Francisco) Harder in Grand Island. She received her education from Kearney State College, where she received her Master’s in Special Education. She taught at Grand Island Senior High in the Special Education Department from August 1968 until her retirement in May 2004. She was a strong advocate for her special needs students. She touched their lives and truly made a difference. Even years after her retirement, her students would stop her in a store to say hello and update her on their lives. She was proud of the work she did modernizing special education for GIPS.

Mary often spoke fondly of the time she spent in Spain. She loved Iris and cherished her collection of Iris and Herringbone dishes. She loved to read, especially mysteries! She had a special place in her heart for her dogs.

She was a longtime member of the Flat Water Floozies and loved crafting, quilting and beading.

She was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church, NEA and NSEA, Eastern Star, Pioneer Quilters, Flat Water Floozies, Thursday Afternoon Beaders and Grand Island Little Theatre.

She is survived by her brothers, Jim (Mary K.) Harder and Richard Harder and his fiancé, Carol Hiser, both of Grand Island; two nephews, James and Matthew Harder of Lincoln; close friend, Todd Uhrmacher of Omaha; and her four-legged roommate, Mollie.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Loyal and Alberta Harder.

A special thank you to “cuz” Mary Ann Bede for her devotion to Mary over the past few months.

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