Earl Williams Harmer Jr.
March 21, 1926 – March 12, 2020
Earl W. Harmer Jr. (Bill), born March 21, 1926, passed away peacefully Thursday, March 12, 2020, with his wife of 73 years sitting by his side. Beloved as a loyal husband, father, and grandfather, he will be deeply missed by his family, many friends, and all those who have been blessed by his remarkable knowledge and teachings. Born in Salt Lake City, to Earl Williams Harmer and Mabel Spande Harmer, he was a descendant of Elias Harmer, a Pioneer who came across the plains in 1853. Bill graduated from East High School in 1943 and the University of Utah in 1949. Bill served in the Army Air Corps from 1944-1946. He married his high school sweetheart and best friend, Arlene Mason on May 4, 1946. Theirs was a marriage of love and commitment, as well as many incredible adventures and difficult challenges, which they faced and conquered together. Bill earned his master’s degree at the “U. of U.,” and then thoroughly enjoyed teaching young students at West High and Stewart School the beauties of English, Shakespeare, and literature. A gifted teacher all his career, he earned the respect of colleagues and students who continued to contact him and express appreciation for his wisdom and expertise. Bill earned a PH.D. at Ohio State University, where he taught in the Department of Education, then continued his teaching, he authored and published educational books, articles, and commentaries, which advanced teaching methods for educators for many years. He was a mentor and a friend to students and peers, always interested in their experiences and opinions, and always ready to help anyone who came to him for advice and direction.
Bill and Arlene built a cabin in Brighton with the help of family and friends and enjoyed it throughout many seasons of the year for over 30 years. Bill’s primary commitment, priorities, and joy were his family. He and Arlene had four children: Susan (Robert Lunt), who passed away in 1990, Scott (Patrice), Ann (Karl Jepsen, died June 2019), and Jennifer (Bill Hoeksel). In addition, he had 21 grandchildren and 38 great-grandchildren. Predeceased by his parents, siblings, beloved daughter Susan, 2 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
Bill enjoyed his life, and always told Arlene that he’d had “a great ride”. He enjoyed so much of what life had to offer: the beauties of their cabin in the canyon, Hebgen Lake in Yellowstone, a round of golf, bowling, a little poker now and then, a lovely crystal glass, the latest from “the talking heads” on the news, taking pride in being a firm Democrat, a quiet night on his cabin deck in summer, a dish of Snelgrove ice cream, a conversation around a dinner table, and especially a new book. To honor him, you might consider reading a good book, and then passing it on to someone else, as he always did. It’s been a good life, Dad. You have been a teacher to the end of your life. You will be deeply missed. Private family services have been held at Wasatch Lawn.