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Poppy Johnson Harshman

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Poppy Johnson Harshman Obituary
Poppy Johnson Harshman had a great life and partied hard. In high school, she played varsity basketball from 9th-12th grade, winning several Atlanta city championships. Earning a Bachelors in psychology and a Master's in Education from the University of Florida, she was the first woman on the Gator ski team. Poppy worked in the developmental services program in the state of Florida for 15 years. Poppy created the STARS program (Start Training Appropriate Responses to Stimuli) for the developmentally disabled, gaining national recognition. She went on to become the Director of the Diagnostic and Evaluation team for the State of Florida community services for the developmentally disabled. In that role, she was chosen to be 1 of 12 in the state of Florida for the navigation of Fellows Program. Then she had her first daughter and retired from the workforce. Poppy dedicated the rest of her life to caring for her children and enjoying her time on this earth. She was seen frequently at Christina's, buying rounds at Dante's, making turns down Ray's Ridge, and on the beach at Purgatory. When not out rabble-rousing, she was in her kitchen serving up some big, juicy, almost raw, tasty meat snacks for her family, friends, and neighbors in Mayday, CO.

She is survived by her daughters, Melanie Harshman and Stephanie Waechter, her sister, Susie Girardeau, and her beloved grandson Wolfgang. Poppy said that her children were her greatest accomplishment in life. Many would say her greatest accomplishment was how many people she was able to make smile and remind to live life to the fullest.

Poppy requested that we "remember the good times," so please join us to celebrate Poppy's life at the VFW in Durango, CO on Saturday, September 2nd starting at 1pm. Open Bar, because that's how Poppy would want it!

In lieu of flowers, please make donations in her name to the Southwest Colorado Special Olympics, 970.945.0395.
Published in The Durango Herald on Aug. 24, 2017
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