Rhonda Gladys Harney, affectionately known as Ronnie, Mom, and Nannie, passed away peacefully in her sleep in her Pepperell home on May 20th, surrounded by her loving family.
She was born on May 2nd, 1952 in Groton and kept ties to this area of Massachusetts throughout her life. The daughter of Mildred (MacLean) and Floyd Lemere, she grew up in Shirley where her family started her on a life-long journey full of music and song. She married and took her guitar to Nashua, NH, where she had her daughter and acquired the title of Mom.
That was the first of many moves for Ronnie, as her music and restless spirit sent her from coast to coast and back again, but she always brought her daughter and her guitar and her joyful love of life, laughter, and melody. Always singing with the radio or acapella, around the house and through the garden she trailed music everywhere she went. An artistic soul, in her later years her love of doodling developed into a love of painting and art, and she spent many happy hours in front of her canvases recreating beautiful natural scenes in colors as vibrant and fierce as she was, still singing all the while.
A talented gardener, she has always been a proponent of the green movement, and in her early years she worked at the first all-solar powered greenhouse in Massachusetts. And even though her jobs were as varied as the roads she traveled in life, at every house she planted beauty that enriched the land and remained after she was gone. Flowers and shrubs, vegetables and herbs, it didn’t matter--what she planted grew and thrived, a testament to her nurturing spirit, observant nature, and excellent memory for all things natural, whether plant or animal. She was also an avid birder, like her mother before her, and could name each feathered visitor, from titmouse to wren to her beloved bluebirds.
She was loved by all who met her, and she was blessed with a loving family, a devoted and caring husband, Ned Harney, and many friends throughout her life. Everyone who knew her knows how strong she was. She overcame so much in her life, and through it all she maintained her sense of humor, her compassion, and her care for everyone around her. A fighter to the end, she never let anything stand in her way, and she used that fighting spirit not only in her own battles but also in support of others.
She is survived by her husband, Richard (Ned) Harney, of Pepperell, MA, her daughter Anna Cordeiro, from Attleboro, MA; her sisters Linda Wright and Lisa Lemere, from Shirley, MA; her brother Floyd Lemere from ND; four grandchildren that she adored and spoiled and who loved her to the moon and back, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, and longtime close friends. She was so very loved.
A memorial service will be held at Alpine Grove, 19 South Depot Road, Route 111A, Hollis, New Hampshire on Friday, May 28th from 2pm to 4pm.
As an expression of sympathy memorial donations may be made to JDRF (formerly Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) and The Musicians Foundation. Messages of condolence are welcomed at www.McGaffiganfuneral.com.
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