September 21, 1929August 31, 2018

James L. Harben (Jim) passed on August 31, 2018 in Schenectady, NY at the age of 88. He was the husband of the late Georgann Harben. He is survived by his two children, George Harben and wife, Sandy, of Manassas, VA and Dana Barsalow and husband, Dave, of Averill Park, NY; and three grandchildren, James Harben, Peggy Harben, and Logan Barsalow. Jim was born in Atlanta, GA on September 21, 1929. He was the second of three children of Nathaniel and Mattie Sue Harben. The family moved to Fort Worth in Jim’s youth where he attended Paschal High School. Jim was a popular student and lettered in track. He attended Texas Christian University in 1947 and earned degrees in journalism and geology. Jim was an admiral of the famed TCU Yacht Club. After college, Jim volunteered for the Army Reserves and earned the rank of lieutenant. He also was a semi-pro hockey player in Fort Worth. In 1956, he married Georgann Rahal. They moved to Midland, Texas the same year and remained there for the rest of their married lives. Jim worked for several regional and national energy companies in Midland as a geologist. In the mid-70s, Jim started Harben-Davis Oil and Gas Exploration firm. Jim was an avid TCU Horned Frog football and baseball fan, a Dallas Cowboy fan, and a New York Yankee fan. Jim was known for his kindness, intellect, athletic ability, devotion to his family, and skill in many forms of art. Services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday September 8, 2018 at First Presbyterian Church in Midland, Texas. Burial will follow at Resthaven Memorial Park. Online condolences may be made at


  • Funeral Service Saturday, September 8, 2018
  • Burial Saturday, September 8, 2018


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Kathleen Harben Stone

September 6, 2018

Many years ago I became acquainted with Jim through business. He was such a delightful gentleman. We had an obvious immediate connection through our common last name of Harben. During our many discussions we discovered our family connection. Jim was about my father's age. So his great, great, great-grandfather (3 greats), Nathaniel B. Harben was my great, great, great, great-grandfather (4 greats)! I am about the same age as his children. And the other really interesting thing we discovered is that his daughter is named Dana, and my brother is named Dana. Like I said, he was really a fine gentleman and it was my pleasure and my honor to know him . I'm sure you will all miss him dearly. May God shower your family with blessings during this difficult time of loss. With love and sympathy - Kathleen Harben Stone