Marion Bink Harn


Marion Ida Bink Harn died at Mesa Verde Convalescent Center, Costa Mesa, California, on August 10, 2013, at the age of 101. Born May 10, 1912, in Elkader, Iowa, to Leonard Michael and Rose Katherine Poull Bink, she was the youngest of seven children. She was a student at St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Elkader and in 1934 graduated from Clarke College, Dubuque, Iowa, with majors in speech and English. In addition to the degree from Clarke, Marion also studied reading at Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa.

Following several years of teaching in Harpers Ferry, Iowa, Marion joined the family firm, Bink Mercantile Company, in Elkader. She and her brother, Alfred, took over the businesses when their father’s health prevented him from continuing with the daily responsibilities. They, along with Alfred’s wife, Marinette, operated the businesses until 1953 when the general merchandise store was sold and 1957 when they sold the grocery store after 58 years in business. 

Marion had a thirst and quest for knowledge while still maintaining an interest in the business community in Elkader. She enjoyed directing plays at St. Joseph High School in Elkader and taught school in Garnavillo, Iowa. She moved west to study special education at the University of Arizona and psychology at the University of Utah. Continuing westward, she lived in Newport Beach, California, before purchasing a condominium in Costa Mesa, where she married John Ivan Harn on January 20, 1978, in St. Joachim’s Church. They enjoyed traveling the world together until his death in 1991 at the age of 99.

In Iowa and later in California, Marion provided a home for her aunt, Anna Poull, who had shared the parental Bink home in Elkader with Marion’s parents. Another guest in the Bink home was Anna’s brother John Poull. He lived with Marion and Anna in Elkader until his death in 1953. Anna died in 1972 at the age of 101.

While in Iowa, Marion enjoyed fishing and boating on the Mississippi River and spent many hours at her cabin on the river next to that of her brother, Alfred, and his wife. Her love of travel found her visiting countries all over the world, and her adventurous spirit took her skydiving in California and cruising to Antarctica, both when she was in her 80s and 90s.

Children were very important to Marion. As a teacher she was devoted to her students and most recently served on the board of Celebrity Ranch, operated by the Celebrity Foundation for Children, which is dedicated to the protection and development of the health, welfare and education of children.

Marion was preceded in death by her husband, her parents and her six brothers and sisters and their spouses: Dr. Edward Leonard (Jean Marie Couture, Emily M. Clark) Bink, Alfred Michael (Marinette Oelke) Bink, Walter Peter (Charlotte Molumby) Bink, Leroy Nicholas (Aline Sundheimer) Bink, Blanche Cecilia (James Hulser) Bink, and Rose Marie (Franklin Juds) Bink.

She is survived by several nieces and nephews including Lois Bink (Jan) Wood, Georgetown, Texas; Kathy Bink (Tim) Dillon, Elkader, Iowa; John (Gerry) Bink and Walter Peter (Bobbie) Bink, Vaughn, Montana; Rose Bink (Richard) McConnell, Yakima, Washington; Stanley (Pat) Juds, Largo, Florida; William Juds, Baja, California; and step-niece, Judy Bender Moyna, Elkader, Iowa; and numerous grand-nieces and nephews.

Services for Marion were held on August 19, 2013, at St. Joachim Church, Costa Mesa, California. Inurnment will follow this fall at St. Joseph Cemetery, Elkader, where her husband, John, and other family members are buried. 

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