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Donna J. Harsh

Donna J. Harsh, 86, died Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, at Kansas City Hospice House.

She was born March 22, 1927, in Cheyenne, Wyo., to Robert Lee and Evelyn Samuels.

She married Donald Eugene Harsh. He preceded her in death. She lived in Hugoton until widowed in 1962. She moved her children to Hays, where she finished her education and established herself as a world-renowned figure in elementary education and children's literature through her work at Fort Hays State University. In addition to teaching and mentoring students, as well as many other young people, she conducted children's literature conferences and study tours throughout the world for nearly 20 years.

Survivors include a son, Steve Harsh and wife, Barbara, Jamul, Calif.; two daughters, Linda Schukman and husband, John, Leavenworth, and Rebecca Davidson and husband, Lee, Topeka; five grandchildren, Annie Price and Laura Harsh, Elizabeth Daze and Abby Schukman, Holly Charlton and Parker Davidson; and four great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, and her sister and brother-in-law, Ruby Lea and Harold Jones.

A memorial reception will be at a later date in Hays.

Memorials are suggested to Fort Hays State University Foundation, Donna Harsh Memorial Fund, at One Tiger Place, P.O. Box 1060, Hays, KS 67601, or at Please designate Donna Harsh memorial.

Condolences can be sent to the family at