Deona Joy (Harendt) Fleming, 75, of Abilene, saw Jesus face-to-face Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, when she finished her earthly race and went home to heaven. At last, she was reunited with her parents and other loved ones and wrapped her first and gone-too-soon grandson in her arms.
A graveside service is planned at 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 13, at Elmwood Memorial Park with Dr. Jeff Reid officiating. The family will welcome visitors Wednesday, Jan. 12, from 5:30-7 p.m. at Hamil Family Funeral Home. Services are under the direction of The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road, Abilene.
Deona was born in Abilene, Texas, to Loneta Joy (Lewis) and Homer Dee Harendt on Thursday, Sept. 26, 1946. She graduated from Abilene High School in 1965 and attended Hardin-Simmons University. She married John Daniel (Danny) Fleming on June 24, 1966, and she enjoyed 55-plus years with the love of her life. Danny and Deona raised two children, loved on five grandchildren and were friends to everyone who knew them.
They were members of North Park Baptist Church for many years where Deona sang in the choir and played the organ each Sunday, and, for the last 25-plus years, at Pioneer Drive Baptist Church.
Deona worked for the Abilene Independent School District before helping Danny operate Danny’s Bar-B-Q restaurant. She went back to the Abilene ISD in the fall of 1985, working in the front office at Abilene High School. She spent the final 23 years of her AISD career as the registrar at AHS before retiring in 2009.
Deona loved word find puzzles, Hallmark movies, working in the yard, reading her devotional Bible, and spending time with friends and family, especially her grandchildren, to whom she was both “MaMaw” and “MoMo” and relished each title as well as the chance to spoil all five of them. Nothing brought a smile to her face faster than seeing or talking about her grandchildren.
Deona is preceded in death by her parents, Homer and Neta Harendt, and her oldest grandson, Rex Tyler Fleming.
She is survived by her husband, Danny, of the home, a son, Lance Fleming and wife, Jill, of Abilene; a daughter, Laurie (Fleming) Briner and husband, John, of Ogden, Utah; a brother, Mike Harendt and wife, Susie, of Lubbock; four grandchildren, Ashley and Ryan Fleming of Abilene, and Harry and Catie Briner of Ogden, Utah; a cousin she called her brother, Fred Harendt and wife, Debbie, of Weatherford, Texas; and her lifelong friend and “sister”, Sharon Ellison of Abilene. She’s also survived by numerous cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and dear friends.
Pallbearers will be Harry Briner, Ryan Fleming, Mike Harendt, Fred Harendt, Tim Harendt, Tyler Harendt, Bruce Dulaney, Jimmy Pogue and Tate Ellison.
The family would like to thank her doctors – especially Dr. Paul Watts – for their care over the last few years, as well as the staff at Hendrick Hospice for their loving attention to Deona in her final few days.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in her memory to the Play 4 Rex Foundation either online (www.p4xfoundation.com/donate) or by mail at P4X Foundation, P.O. Box 1661, Abilene, Texas, 79604.
While we miss her and her smile and her laugh here on earth, we rejoice that Deona has seen God with her own eyes and that she’s in that place where there’s only joy and peace and happiness. And she is now seeing what she’s been faithful to believe in her entire life.
I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes …
The family first began in the funeral business in 1933. The Hamil's legacy, beginning with the Elliott's to John and Jo Ann Hamil and now continuing with Robert and Karla Hamil, is to serve families in their time of need.