Ellis Funeral Home

801 Andrews Highway, Midland, TX


Irene Harlan

August 29, 1921October 2, 2019

Irene Richardson Harlan was born in Salisbury, Missouri, on August 29, 1921. Her father, Milam, was a farmer and her mother, Ida, was a schoolteacher, and she was youngest of a family of five. Irene graduated Prairie Hill High School and married her high school sweetheart, Thomas Franklin Harlan, whose family lived across the street from hers, on June 24,1939. They moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where on September 23, 1940, her son Tom L. Harlan was born.The family moved briefly to Texas, Florida, California, and then settled in Midland, Texas, during the oil boom of the Fifties. Irene there had a daughter, Janis Gaye Harlan, on March 11, 1956. Irene enjoyed genealogical research and traced many of her family trees. She wrote books and papers on the many branches of the family and was a tremendous resource to family members. She particularly loved her contribution to the library, both school and then church. Irene was a dedicated member of Crestview Baptist Church, and found her calling in building the library there. Over her more than twenty-five years there, Irene saw the library grow exponentially and was delighted in handling the smallest details of processing new books, many of which she paid for herself. Irene is survived by her son Tom L. Harlan and daughter-in-law Joy Harlan, and daughter Janis Harlan Detloff and son-in-law Martin Paul Detloff, and grandson Christopher Brian Harlan and his wife Tess Harlan. A graveside memorial service will be held at Resthaven, Eternal Light Mausoleum, on Saturday, October 12, 2019, at 1:00 pm. A donation to the charity of your choice is preferred to flowers.


  • Graveside Inurnment Saturday, October 12, 2019


Irene Harlan

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