Mary Jane Harvey
1937 to 2020
Mary Jane Harvey was born in Arlington, Virginia in 1937, to Herbert and Jane Howe. Growing up, she was involved in theater in school, loved going to Scientist Cliffs in the summer with her family, and enjoyed frequent visits to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. She was an amazing older sister to her brother Henry. They enjoyed many adventures together. At age 17, she and her friend sailed to England for Queen Elizabeth's coronation. After her high school graduation, the family moved to Boulder, Colorado, where she studied at the University of Colorado, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree. While at the university, she met and married Morris Harvey, who was also student at the university.
Mary Jane worked as a preschool teacher. Later, she was a stay-at-home mom, raising five children. When she reentered the workforce, she drove a school bus and served school lunches. She was an activist for the no-smoking movement and the adoption information chairman for four different adoption groups. In the mid-70’s she helped with the Baby Lift from Vietnam. Throughout her lifetime, Mary Jane enjoyed collecting fossils, minerals, rocks, shells, Native American art, and later, nativity scenes. She and Morris were members of the Colorado Mineral Society and later the Orange Belt Mineral Society. She gave presentations at schools about fossils and enjoyed setting up cases with her collections. Additionally, she occasionally judged fossil and mineral cases at both local and national gem and mineral shows. She was an avid reader and especially enjoyed reading about history. Further, she enjoyed creative writing.
In 1978, the Harvey family moved to Upland, California. She then went back to school and earned her Electronic Technician degree at Chaffey College. She was the first woman to complete this program at this college. She was hired by Chaffey College to help rewrite their text books. Later, she worked for SafeTran Systems testing the circuit boards which control the railroad crossing arms. She went on to write the test procedures for testing these circuit boards. Mary Jane continued to share her interest in rocks, fossils, minerals, and shells by displaying her cases at the LA County Fair for many years.
In 2005, Mary Jane and Morris moved to Bakersfield, California to be near their daughter in their later years. Mary Jane again displayed her rocks, fossils, and minerals at the Kern County Fair as well as at the Buena Vista Museum in Bakersfield. She also displayed over 150 nativity sets at Christmas Around the World for a number of years.
Mary Jane was smart and detailed. In fact when she visited the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in 2013, she noticed a couple of labels that were incorrect, noted the corrections, and submitted them to the docent! After Morris passed away, Mary Jane moved to Rosewood Retirement Community. While at Rosewood, she would bring a piece from her collection to the dining area as a discussion starter during meal time. Any time someone would show interest in her collections, Mary Jane welcomed the conversation. Always hospitable and generous; she will be greatly missed.
Mary Jane is preceded in death by her husband Morris, daughter Diana, and her parents. Her granddaughter Kara Kitano has also since passed away. She is survived by her brother, Henry Howe (Mary Seaworth); her children: Norma Rhodes (Rusty), Charles Harvey, Don Harvey, and Barbara Labrecque; by her grandchildren: (Kizuku Kitano), Kami Whitten (Mike), Byron Rhodes (Jill), Arin Babbick (Katie), Sharyna Lim (Hao Yen), Anthony Labrecque, and Cassia Labrecque; great grandchildren: Isaiah Whitten, Kansas Whitten, Georgia Whitten, Ellie Whitten, Kyo Kitano, David Babbick, Avalyn Lim, Simon Babbick, Malcolm Babbick, Hudson Rhodes, Finley Rhodes, Lincoln Babbick, Auli Lim, and Adelie Lim; along with numerous nieces and
The memorial service is scheduled for August 28, 2021 at 11:00 am at Olive Knolls Church, 6201 Fruitvale Avenue, Bakersfield, California. Final resting place: Table Rock, Nebraska.