Cover photo for Lily Copeland Harkness's Obituary
Lily Copeland Harkness Profile Photo

Lily Copeland Harkness

July 13, 1934 — December 31, 2020

Lily Copeland Harkness

Lily Copeland Harkness passed away on Thursday, December 31, 2020 due to complications from COVID-19, in Fountain Hills, Arizona.  

Lily was born on Friday, July 13, 1934 in Waterville, Kansas, and was raised on a nearby dairy farm, run by her parents, Charles and Ruth Copeland. 

She graduated from Midland Lutheran College in Fremont, Nebraska, and married Hosea S. Harkness on June 2, 1956. For the first twelve years of their marriage, they moved every two or three years from Kansas to Utah, Illinois, Virginia, and Arkansas, finally settling in Memphis, Tennessee. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Lily and Hosea split time between Memphis, Gull Lake, Minnesota, and Fountain Hills, before moving to Fountain Hills full time in 2002. 

Through the years, Lily was an active member of the Lutheran Church and is a member of New Journey Lutheran Church in Fountain Hills. She considered Friday the 13th her lucky day. Lily was a renowned porcelain artist and teacher, earning her Master Teacher, Artist, and Master Artist certificates as a charter member of the International Porcelain Artist Teachers in 1990. She also served as an officer of IPAT and regional porcelain art organizations in Tennessee and in Arizona. She was active in the Fountain Hills Art League, and she frequently had pieces displayed in the Fountain Hills Community Center, as well as showings at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix. Her last showing was at MorningStar Senior Living in 2017. Additionally, Lily was an avid collector of antique porcelain and was a member of the Pickard Collectors Club. 

Throughout the years, Lily traveled to more than 20 countries in Europe, South America and Asia. During these trips, she always made a point to find the museums that had porcelain collections, such as the Haviland factory in Limoges, France, and Meissen and Dresden, Germany. One of her favorite places to visit was Iguasu Falls in South America. Lily painted Christmas ornaments for her children and grandchildren every year, now enough to decorate entire trees in porcelain ornaments. In the spring, she gave intricate porcelain Easter eggs. One of her biggest projects was a 12-place setting of porcelain dishes for Christmas for her son and his family. During countless summer visits, her grandchildren could be found sitting beside her, working on their own tiles, mugs and plates as she taught them to paint violets, morning glories and roses. 

She is survived by her husband of 64 years, Hosea Harkness; her children, Donald (Margaret) and Rebecca (Pamela Gay), and 4 grandchildren, Elizabeth, Sarah, Rebecca, and John. Additionally, she is survived by her 3 siblings, Edgar Copeland, Charlee Smith, and Grace Parker and many nieces, nephews and cousins. 

The family wishes to thank Morningstar Assisted Living and Memory Care in Fountain Hills and Hospice of the Valley, Phoenix, Arizona for the loving care provided Lily. 

In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to the charity of your choice in memory of Lily. 

Funeral services are planned for 2:00 pm, Saturday, March 13, 2021, at St. Mark Lutheran Church in Waterville with Sister Mary Arie officiating. Burial will be at Riverside Cemetery in Waterville. The service will be available live on the Terry-Christie Funeral Home Facebook page. Condolences may be left at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lily Copeland Harkness, please visit our flower store.


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