Willard Elden “Timber” Harwood

Funeral services for Willard Elden “Timber” Harwood, 95, Lawrence will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, February 14, 2014 at Plymouth Congregational Church. Burial will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery. Elden died Thursday, February 6, 2014 at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

Elden was born July 10, 1918 in Tonganoxie, KS the son of William T. and Emma Jane (Cannon) Harwood.

Elden began his career in the theater business at the age of 14 putting up marques at the Pattee theater in Lawrence. His first manager position began at the age of 18. After serving as a Sargent in the US Army Air Corp in India during WWII, he returned home to continue his career in the theater business. He worked for Commonwealth Theaters as a manager in Norton and Great Bend, Kansas, Carrollton and Springfield, Missouri and Creston, Iowa. Before his retirement at the age of 70, he was a district manager for Commonwealth. His district covered Lawrence and all of Kansas.

He became a member of the Plymouth Congregational Church in 1933. He was also a member of the Lawrence Rotary Club, and was a Mason. He served on the City Council in Great Bend, Kansas and was Mayor from 1961 – 1965.

He married Gwenneth G. Praeger on October 31, 1949 at the Praeger homestead in Claflin, KS. She preceded him in death November 12, 2002.

Survivors include three daughters, Molly A. Harwood and Allan Stillman, Gwenneth B. “Junior” Wedd and husband Dirk, Charlotte Lawrenz and husband Randy Wells, all of Lawrence; two sons, Duncan E. Harwood and wife Patty Chaney Harwood, Dallas, TX, Mark W. Harwood, Lawrence; grandchildren, Spencer Lawrenz, Michael Besaw, AR Wells (Barb), JD Wells, Christy Ball (John), Lelah Harwood, Lizzy Harwood Sanders (David), Ben Harwood, Shane Wedd, Lora Wedd Hardesty (Scott), Emma Stillman; great grandchildren, Vaughn Wells, Kiera Wells, Hudson, Harrison and Halle Hardesty, Luke Harwood, Justice, Jalen and Jacoree Sanders, and Kat and Taylor Ball. He was preceded in death by two brothers, Winston and Milfred; and one sister, Margaret.

Visitation will be from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Thursday, February 13th at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials in his name designated to USD 497, Lawrence High School Fine Arts Department and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary.

11 Condolences

  1. Kari Stein on February 7, 2014 at 7:31 am

    Our Deepest condolences to the family. He was sweet man and his love was mirrored around everyone who was lucky enough to be with him. A family man that had life radiating around him, a true inspiration to our family. He will be missed.

  2. Carla Amerine Westheffer on February 7, 2014 at 10:30 am

    He was my first boss and I just loved him. He was so patient and kind, but above all so very elegant. Always dressed to the nines, he was the epitome of class.
    With warmest thoughts and prayers,

  3. Wombwell Ladies on February 7, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Know that your entire family is in our prayers. The biggest testament of how great Mr. and Mrs. Harwood were is the great family they created. I know many will be traveling a distance to come honor the life of Mr. Harwood. Prayers not only for peace, but safe travels for all.

  4. Suzanne Steuri Stofer on February 8, 2014 at 7:21 am

    Dear Charlotte, I, like a lot of our class, have fond memories of your dad at the Crest Theatre in Great Bend. How fortunate you were to have had him this long. Maybe I will bump into you again in Lawrence one day. Hugs for you and your family

  5. Gary Scott on February 8, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Junior how fortunate to have your Dad for so long. I remember going to the theater while at KU with John Ulmer and other LHS Alumni. What a great walk from Oliver to 9th and Iowa. Unfortunately it was always the guys as we could never convince any coed to go with us. Best popcorn and memories EVER. February 6 was same date my wife died in 2006 from Breast Cancer. Thoughts are with you and your family yet realize that you have a TON of good memories to last all.

  6. Julie Casey on February 9, 2014 at 7:56 am

    Duncan, Patty and Family..
    Thinking of you! Wishing you all peace to bring comfort, courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your hearts! Much Love! Mike and Julie Casey

  7. Joyce Lohmeyer on February 9, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    Duncan Patty and Family,
    So sorry for your loss. May your many memories sustain you through this difficult time. Praying that you will be surrounded with peace and love. Please know that we will be keeping you in our prayers and send our love to all of you.
    Tom & Joyce Lohmeyer

  8. Sheryl Cheely on February 10, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    Duncan, Patty and family,

    So sorry for your loss. Dad’s are special people and I’m sure yours will be missed a lot. I didn’t realize that he had been mayor in Great Bend!

  9. Haley Harwood on February 12, 2014 at 1:03 am

    I am so sorry that I won’t be able to attend the service. Uncle Elden was always such a joy to be around. His face always lit up when he was surrounded by his family. Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers!

  10. Robert Casad, Jr. on February 13, 2014 at 5:14 am

    My thoughts are with you all, from a distance. Elden’s was a life well lived. Look at what a treasure of love and ongoing life he has left behind! Please forgive me that I cannot attend the memorial service “in the flesh,” but will certainly do so, with prayers and conscious reflections, tomorrow – attending “in spirit.” With love, from across the oceans of time and space,

  11. Jack Poessiger on February 15, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Eldon was my boss during my Commonwealth theater operating days. I worked with him in later years in Commonwealth management. Always a gentleman and fine co-worker. Wonderful memories with Eldon Harwood. May he rest in peace.
    Jack Poessiger
    Overland Park, KS

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