Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One

Velma Staley Harrington, age 69

Velma Staley Harrington passed away on March 21, 2023.  She was 69. Velma was born in Middletown, Ohio.

She was a phenomenal cook, the life of the party, loved to read, needlepoint, animals, collect stamps, listen to rock and roll, and was a high school track athlete.  After graduating high school, she moved to Columbus, Ohio and worked as a dental assistant.

In 1973, she married her husband Richard Harrington, and they had one daughter.  She was married to Richard until he passed in 2004. Velma collaborated with her husband at his company TEKTŌN rehabbing homes for low-income families that were funded through HUD. In 1985, she and her family moved to Marietta, Ohio and owned and operated a bar in Lowell, Ohio called the Grey Goose. She was fondly known as Fern by her patrons. In 1989, Velma and her family moved to Gulfport, MS. She earned her associates degree from William Carey College and her master’s degree from Troy State University. She worked for the Harrison County Youth Court for over 20 years.

Velma was regularly active in the Girl Scouts when her daughter was in school. She was Troop Leader for many years and helped the Girl Scouts by delivering thousands of boxes of cookies. She was a member of The American Legion Auxiliary Post #64 and the Lady Elks Lodge #477 in Marietta, Ohio. She served as Auxiliary President twice as well as other positions and was the Mardi Gras Queen of American Legion Post #119 in Gulfport, MS.  Velma also worked for the Children and Youth Committee for the Mississippi Department American Legion Auxiliary and was a member of the Red Hat Society. She served as Lady Elks President at Lodge #978 as well as other positions in Gulfport, MS. She retired in Texarkana, TX and became a Lady Elk at Lodge #2701.

Velma is survived by her daughter Melissa Sturgeon, her son in law Jason Sturgeon, and her granddaughter Zöe Sturgeon.

Arrangements by A Natural State Funeral Service 2620 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas 72076. 501-982-3400. Online guestbook available at


  • Sheryl Lyons Posted March 28, 2023 12:08 PM

    Condolences to Family.
    Velma was a sweet, energetic, sweet lady. I met her working at Youth Court she will be missed.

  • Marci Murphy Posted March 28, 2023 4:38 PM

    She sounds like a good lady. Sorry for your loss sweetie. Love you.

  • Tammi Drewery Posted March 28, 2023 6:44 PM

    She was one of my favs at the Texarkana Public Library! She used to come in often and then slowed down on her checkouts. She recently introduced me to her daughter and always had a quick wit and a friendly demeanor. I will miss her!

  • CHERYL JOYCE Posted March 28, 2023 9:50 PM

    Condolences to the family. Family is the true definition. Velma was a special classy lady, mother and grandmother and great friend. I really enjoyed our new year get togethers. Velma, I miss you so much and will always think of you. I am so grateful to have gotten to meet you and share in your family. I know you are comfortable today and the rest of all days. Rest in peace and I am glad you are reunited with your husband. Thank you for all your contributions during your life. Love you lady! I will see you in due time. Melissa, Jason, Zoe, you know you were loved with a loving heart. Velma you are truly missed. 🥰😇

  • Rhonda Adams, Moreland Posted March 30, 2023 4:26 PM

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Velma was a best friend to me all through school years in Camden, Ohio. She was a bridesmaid in my wedding in 1971. My heart goes out to you her loving family..

  • “Vivian” Erickson Posted March 1, 2024 8:17 PM

    Can’t believe I’m just now seeing this. Velma and I worked together at the Harrison County Youth Court. After my stint there, we met a few times at Center Stage, Gulfport Little Theatre, the Singing Christmas Tree and Handel’s Messiah. Always fun catching up. She certainly was a vibrant person and her smile and laughter were infectious… she’ll be remembered always for the joy she added to my life.

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