Elizabeth M. "Liz" Harkins
August 7, 1995 - May 21, 2020

Elizabeth M.

Elizabeth M. "Liz" Harkins
Aug 7, 1995 - May 21, 2020

Elizabeth M.
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Elizabeth Marie Harkins passed away suddenly at home on Thursday, May 21, 2020 from complications related to a cardiac condition. Liz is survived by her loving parents Fran and Mary Harkins, brothers Francis and Matthew, paternal grandparents Frank and Betty Ann Harkins (Glenside), maternal grandmother Susan Lawlor (Ambler), and many aunts, uncles, and cousins. All of us miss her terribly.

Liz immediately caused a stir when she came into the world. Born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, she fought through multiple surgeries during the first two years of her life, with the first surgery coming at four days old. Even during these early years, Liz endeared herself to everyone with her big blue eyes, cute smile, infectious laugh, and spunky personality. HLHS did not slow her down, though. Many people acquainted with Liz did not know about her condition because she lived her life as normally and fully as possible.

Liz's drive to experience life pulled her in many directions. She loved to travel, having visited London and Spain while in high school, followed by Ireland last year with her family. Liz would think nothing of hopping on a plane to visit friends in Dallas, Nashville, or Los Angeles, or making a run up to New York City to have lunch and see a play on Broadway. On a more permanent basis, Liz lived for a couple of years in Scottsdale, AZ. During that time she was able to enjoy the American Southwest, but realized Pennsylvania was her true home and moved back in spring of 2019. Wherever she traveled or lived, Liz had a nose for finding good restaurants, and was happy to share those places with others, especially if they were paying. Liz had a sixth sense for adventure and beauty, wherever she could find it. The best way she used this skill was to find the beauty in people and the places she visited, and she was on her way to becoming a citizen of the world.

Socializing with her friends was also an important part of Liz's life. Whether she was out with a few people, at a party, or more recently sharing a movie or chat on Zoom, she aspired to have fun with her friends. Liz was one of those people who could make friends easily with her sunny personality, quick wit, and sense of humor. She also made life-long friends like those from Penn State and Camp Echo, a cardiac-themed summer camp where she was a camper and counselor for many years. Liz filled her social media pages with bright smiles and funny antics from her travels and her experiences with her many friends, mixed with more serious philosophical musings on life. Liz had a knack for finding the best qualities in people and enhancing them in her posts. She extended this skill in her most recent position as a social media coordinator at Mount Saint Joseph's Academy, where she enjoyed highlighting the work of other strong young women. Girl Power Rules!

Liz was a creative spirit, and she had many passions, including photography, making memes (often poking fun at family situations), creating and editing videos, writing reviews and opinion pieces about her favorite tv shows and movies, cooking delicious meals using recipes found in her burgeoning collection of cookbooks, and baking tasty treats which her family enjoyed mightily as confirmed carbo-vores. She was always on the lookout for new creative outlets, and most recently took a stab at needlepoint, although with mixed results.

Teaching her family how to embrace life for the moment is a gift she gave us that we will carry on. Being the big sister was a role she relished and her brothers took in good humor, but they also kept her grounded. She knew exactly how to make her parents feel special, too. Beyond daily interactions, she loved to surprise us with her thoughtfulness, like an unexpected trip home to completely surprise her father one Thanksgiving, or popping in unannounced for her mother's birthday celebration. We will most certainly miss her funny texts, out-loud laughter when watching a video on TV or her laptop, and her knowledge of Marvel movie canon. From the day she was born, she kept us on her toes. Liz also had an extra-special bond with her grandparents, as she looked to spend time with them on a regular basis, whether it was to visit at their house while grabbing Harkins' iced tea and cookies, going out for breakfast, baking with Grandmom, hanging out on the front porch on a nice day, taking bamboo painting and pottery lessons with Grandma Sue, or simply enjoying a family event. Liz cherished these times, and she understood how to distill joy from simple diversions.

In lieu of flowers, we kindly request donations in memory of Elizabeth to the "Fontan FORWARD Fund" at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Click this link https://tinyurl.com/y85vt7lr for detailed online instructions, or mail a check to CHOP Foundation, PO Box 781352, Philadelphia, PA 19178-1352, so that other children born with similar complex congenital heart defects can benefit from the care and research that helped Liz lead such a spectacular life. Mary and Fran will be forever grateful for the skill, support, and love of her medical teams.

Relatives and friends are invited to Liz's Memorial Mass on July 18, 2020 with Msgr. Stephen P. McHenry, pastor and celebrant.

Visitation:
• Saturday, July 18, 2020
• 10:15 AM to 11:00 AM at St Anthony of Padua, Ambler, PA
• Family will welcome those who will not be attending the reception following Mass

Service:
• Saturday, July 18, 2020
• 11:00 AM Memorial Mass at St Anthony of Padua, Ambler, PA

Reception:
• Saturday, July 18, 2020
• 12:30 PM Friends and family members are invited to a Celebration of Life Reception
• Manufacturer's Golf and Country Club, Ft Washington, PA
To plan for social distancing, kindly let us know if you are coming to reception by clicking here https://forms.gle/eLuFrochdf9jNAM57

Please note: Masks and social distancing will be necessary at the church and the reception.

Thank you for stopping by to read about our dearest Liz. These few words convey only a fraction of the person Liz was, and there are no words to truly communicate how much she will be missed in this world. Liz shared her light, love, and joy with everyone around her.

FOR CHOP DONATION QUESTION: EMAIL giving@email.chop.edu

Dale on Jul 27, 2020

Fran and Mary, I was deeply saddened to learn of Liz's passing. Reading the obituary I can tell she brought a lot of joy to your family and the world. May your happy remembrances bring you comfort going forward.

Urban Funeral Home on Jul 18, 2020

JAMES ROCCIA on Jun 9, 2020

I AM SO SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS IT TRULY BREAKS MY HEART AS A PARENT OF CHILDREN THE SAME AGE. MAY GOD KEEP YOU SAFE AND WELL . HEARTBREAKING BE WELL

Torri Wilke on May 31, 2020

Liz was a coworker turned friend and she filled my life with so much joy, laughter, and THE BEST movies. Any time a movie was coming out that she was excited about, she would preorder us tickets and it would be all we would talk about. I will miss her so much. I pass along all of my love to your family.

Susan Brereton on May 30, 2020

Mary - I am so sad to hear the news of Liz's passing. She was a vibrant, positive person whenever I met her. I wish you and your family comfort and peace during this difficult time.

Harkins Family on May 30, 2020

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Visitation

Jul
18
Saturday
St Anthony of Padua Church
259 Forest Ave
Ambler, Pennsylvania 19002
10:15 AM - 11:00 AM
IMPORTANT! Please read Liz's Obituary for Memorial Mass and Reception details. An RSVP is required for the Reception!


Memorial Mass

Jul
18
Saturday
St Anthony of Padua Church
259 Forest Ave
Ambler, Pennsylvania 19002
11:00 AM
IMPORTANT! Please read Liz's Obituary for Memorial Mass and Reception details. An RSVP is required for the Reception!


Celebration Of Life Reception

Jul
18
Saturday
Manufacture's Golf and Country Club
511 Dreshertown Rd
Fort Washington, PA, United States 19034
12:30 PM
RSVP Requested for Celebration of Life Reception to plan for social distancing. Click on the link noted in Liz's Obituary to RSVP or copy this link into your browser https://forms.gle/eLuFrochdf9jNAM57


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