Mara B Harkins

Mara B Harkins passed away Sunday, May 24, 2020, at home, surrounded by her loving family, in Glen Ridge, N.J. after a brief battle with colon cancer.
Mara was born in Latvia in 1941 and lived there until 1944, when her family made a harrowing escape from the Soviets during WWII, eventually finding refuge in a displaced persons camp in Memmingen, Bavaria. In July 1950, with her sister and mother, she came to live in Greenwich, CT with their sponsors who became family. Mara attended Greenwich High School and Green Mountain College in Poultney, VT. She entered the fashion industry, working in Merchandising for May Company, Judy Bond, AMC and others in New York City. She traveled extensively throughout Asia and Europe in the 1960’s and 70’s where she bravely broke down business barriers and indulged in her love of shopping. Mara thrived in the Merchandising business, started a manufacturing business in Costa Rica in the 1990’s and ultimately retired from American Express in August 2001.
In 1964, she met and married Edward Harkins. They raised their daughter, Kathleen in New York City until 1979, when they moved to Montclair, NJ. The house on Yale Terrace was often filled with Kathleen’s friends who were always welcome and became family. Mara enjoyed skiing, going to the ocean, traveling, and gardening. Despite contracting a debilitating illness in 1998, which caused chronic pain, fatigue and limited use of her right side, Mara was an avid member of the Garden Club of Montclair and the Rockcliffe Garden team and a Master Gardener.
Her greatest joys were her grandsons, Jack and David Weissenberger. Mara’s time ws spent picking them up from school, attending sporting events, getting to know their friends and babysitting their dog Teddy. She was so proud of the young men they became and she was blessed to spend her last few months with them.
Mara was grateful to have wonderful friends throughout her life, whom she was so appreciative to hear from during these past few months. Mara was predeceased by her husband Edward (2003), her mother Anna Bockis (2014), and her father Arvids Bockis (1953). She is survived by her sister, Anda Bockis, Alameda, CA, her daughter Kathleen Harkins Weissenberger, son-in-law Paul Weissenberger, grandsons Jack and David Weissenberger, from Glen Ridge, NJ, cousins Mirdza Berzins, Aivars (Jacqueline) Berzins, Insese Cederbaums (Joe Guzeman), and their children and grandchildren, the entire Weissenberger/Byrne clan and her Midland Avenue Family.
Due to the pandemic, there will not be a service at this time. If you would like to make a donation in Mara’s memory, please contribute toward a cure for NMO at or the Colon Cancer Collation at under Mara Harkins.
Arrangements by O’Boyle Funeral Home, Bloomfield. Please express condolences at