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Gwendolyn Harley

Gwendolyn Harley passed away at the age of 107, Tuesday, August 25, 2020 in Dallas, Texas. She was born May 4, 1913 to Dr. and Mrs. F.E. Burdett, and raised on the family homestead west of Ava, Missouri with her sisters Rhasneh Tidwell, Freida Hesterlee, Elloree Henley, Wanda Williams, and Willamae Ball. She graduated from Ava High School in 1929, then taught in rural schools in Douglas County.  

Gwen married Homer Harley in 1932, and together they operated Harley’s, a jewelry, gift and clothing store on the Ava square.  Gwen was an active member in the Ava United Methodist Church, as well as the P.E.O. Sisterhood.  She and Homer moved to Dallas in 1980, where he passed away in 1998.

Gwen was a faithful Christian who never said an unkind word and always looked for the best in people.  Her positive attitude and quiet grace were an inspiration to all who knew her.

Gwen is survived by her son Larry Harley (Jenny Cheek); granddaughters Kimberly Eckert (Jeff) and Courtney Devlin (Aaron); great-grandchildren Kiley, Lexie, Dayton, and Harley Eckert, and Harrison and Owen Devlin; niece Sally Tope; nephews Dr. Ed Hesterlee and Jim Williams (deceased).

The family wishes to thank the staff at The Forum at Park Lane where she lived for almost 20 years – as well as her devoted caregivers Angie Stewart, Tekila Shields and Yemi Monday – for their loving attention and kindness.  Memorial contributions may be made to the Ava United Methodist Church, 945 W. Washington, Ava, MO 65608.

Graveside funeral service for Gwen was 10:00 A.M. Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at Ava City Cemetery, Ava, Missouri. Arrangements and services under the care and direction of Barnes Family Funeral Home, Ozark, Missouri. Online condolences may be shared at