Obituary-Hosea Harkness

Hosea Snyder Harkness passed away on Monday, February 19, 2024, at Meadowlark Hills in Manhattan, Kansas. He was born on March 11, 1933 in Clay Center, Kansas, to Charles A. and Alice Harkness. Hosea grew up on the family farm near Greenleaf, Kansas, and graduated from Greenleaf High School in 1951.

Hosea attended Kansas State University for two years before entering the U.S. Army, serving in Japan. He returned to KSU, receiving a B.S. in Agriculture and an M.S. in Agricultural Economics and Statistics. He married Lily Copeland of Waterville, Kansas on June 2, 1956.

He took a position with the USDA Crop Reporting Service in Topeka, Kansas after graduation, working in offices in Kansas, Utah, Illinois, Washington, D.C., and Arkansas. In 1968, after ten years of government service, Hosea began working at Cook Industries and then Sparks Commodities in Memphis, Tennessee, doing on-the-ground observation of crop yields and developing statistical techniques to forecast crop yields and production, prior to the official release of government reports. He expanded these techniques developed in the US market to several other countries, most notably Brazil and Argentina. Over 25 years, he traveled to more than 25 countries gathering crop information, including more than 50 trips to South America.

After retiring in 1998, Hosea continued to consult for a select group of clients. He also indulged his interests in antique vehicles, toy farm implements, Pickard porcelain, and supporting Lily’s porcelain art ventures, as well as cheering for the Kansas State Wildcats. He and Lily split time between Memphis, Gull Lake, Minnesota, and Fountain Hills, Arizona before moving to Fountain Hills full time in 2002. After Lily’s death in 2020, Hosea moved to Meadowlark Hills.

Hosea’s favorite place in the world was Iguaçu Falls on the Brazil/Argentina border. He was a lifelong member of the Lutheran Church and is a member of First Lutheran Church in Manhattan. He was proud of being 43 years sober. 

Hosea was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Lily Harkness. He is survived by his children, Rebecca (Pamela Gay) and Donald (Margaret), and grandchildren, Elizabeth, Sarah, Rebecca, and John. He is also survived by one sibling, Mary Teschner, many nieces and nephews, as well as numerous colleagues who still use the crop forecasting methods he pioneered.

The family wishes to thank Georgia Adolf and the staff of Miller House at Meadowlark Hills for the loving care provided Hosea. 

A viewing is planned from noon to 8:00 pm, Sunday, March 10, 2024 at the Christie-Anderes Funeral Home in Waterville.

Funeral services will be at 10:00 am, Monday, March 11, 2024 at the St. Mark Lutheran Church in Waterville with Pastor David Thompson officiating. Kim Oatney will be the musician. Burial will follow at Riverside Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Kansas State University Foundation directed to the Hosea S. Harkness Agricultural Economics Scholarship, Fund No. O67605. Contributions may be left in care of the Christie-Anderes Funeral Home, PO Box 61, Waterville, Kansas 66548.

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