Tom Martin HARLESS
1925 – 2016
HARLESS, Tom Martin Age 90, passed away in Greenville, Ohio on January 7, 2016. Born Feb. 5, 1925, in Greenville, Ohio, the second child and only son of Lon and Genevieve (Amman) Harless, Tom was preceded in death by his parents and his oldest sister, Mary Florence Strukamp, and an infant sister Elizabeth. As a youth, Harless attended St. Mary’s Catholic Church and elementary school. Drafted out of Greenville High School in 1943, Tom served a tour in the U.S. Army at the end of WWII in Okinawa and Japan and was honorably discharged as a sergeant. He married Hazel Naomi Anthony at St. Mary’s Church in Greenville on July 12, 1947. The couple has six living children. The family settled in Greenville until 1967 when they relocated to Dayton, Ohio. When the children were grown, Tom and Hazel moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida in October of 1977 and later up the coast to Satellite Beach, FL in 1992, where they remained until a final move back to Greenville to live in the Brethren’s Retirement Community in November of 2012. Harless had a life-long career in sales. In Greenville, he was a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Elks. A natural athlete, he swam and played football as a youth, played church league softball for St. Mary’s in Greenville in the early 1960s, and rode a bike most days upon retirement in his 80s. Also in retirement, Harless taught himself to refurbish bicycles and often donated them to charity or to neighborhood children. He enjoyed entertaining with stories and jokes. Gregarious and outgoing, he made friends easily and was an ace card player and gin rummy aficionado. He was an active member of the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church near Satellite Beach, FL and performed church-related volunteer work for the parish, including organizing the food court at the church’s annual festival. He also was a long-time volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and delivered Meals on Wheels until late in life. Although proud to be a transplanted Floridian for decades, he remained a loyal fan of the Cincinnati Reds and followed Ohio State and Notre Dame Football. Harless is survived by Hazel, his wife of 68 years, and daughter Susan Halley (Richard) of Greenville, Ohio, John Harless of Lauderdale Lakes, Florida, James Harless (Edna Higgins)of Dayton Ohio, Barbara Gotshall (Robert) of Fort Collins, CO, Rebecca Rosen (Clifford) of Freeport, Maine, and Sharon Harless also of Fort Collins, CO. Tom is also survived by 15 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 A.M. Tuesday January 12, 2016 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church 233 West Third Street, Greenville, Ohio with Rev. Father John R. White as celebrant. Burial with Military Honors conducted by the Greenville Veterans Honor Guard will be held in the St. Mary’s Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends on Monday from 6:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. and on Tuesday from 9:00 A.M. until 9:30 A.M. in the Zechar Bailey Funeral Home Greenville, Ohio. The will be a Prayer Service on Monday at 5: 30 P.M. in the funeral home. It is the wishes of the family that Memorial Contributions be given to the Brethren Retirement Community Resident’s aid Fund. Condolences for the family may be sent to www.zecharbailey.com
Published in Dayton Daily News on Jan. 9, 2016