Early Tuesday morning, March 1, 2011, our dad, Loy Lindeman Harman Jr., 93, left this life of pain, dementia and loneliness wanting to be with his wife, Emma (Beebe) Harman, who passed away in 2007. Dad passed away at the Maine Veterans’ Home in Augusta, Maine, but he had been living at the Woodlands in Hallowell, Maine.
Dad was the second child and second son of Else (Baldwin) and Loy Harman Sr., and was born at home in Orange, N.J., on October 1, 1917. Dad was followed by two more brothers and six sisters. Dad has four remaining siblings, all sisters, living in Florida; Mary Burke, Gladys Morgan, Harriet Holmes and Ann Guerino. A sister, Grace, died as an infant.
Dad was preceded in death by his brothers, Frederick, Charles, and Raymond. Those 10 children spent their childhood in the Mt. Tabor section of Parsippany Troy Hills, N.J.
Just prior to World War II, in July 1941, Dad met Mom while at an amusement park with Dad’s brother and his wife. Dad always joked about that. After dating for several months, Mom and Dad eloped six days after the Pearl Harbor attack, December 13, 1941. They had been married 65 years. Dad left for overseas in February 1942 as a part of the 439th Signal Construction Battalion of the U.S. Army Air Corps and returned in October 1945 as a technician Fifth Grade 64th Fighter Group 12th Air Force, having served in Algeria, French Morocco, Tunisia, Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arno, Southern France, Rhineland, Ardennes, and Central Europe.
Our family remained in New Jersey for many years, but when their younger daughters, Catherine (Harman) Scheff, married Ronald Scheff they eventually moved to Dallas, and then Jane (Harman) Hubert married William Hubert and moved to Pittston, Maine. Dad and Mom lived in homes that they built or renovated in Mt. Tabor, Wharton, Rockaway, and Denville (all in New Jersey) until 1997, when they built a new home in Trucksville to be nearer their daughter, Catherine.
In 2001, they moved to Hallowell, Maine, again, to be nearer their daughter, Jane. Dad and Mom remained together until Mom’s health failed and she entered the Maine Veterans’ Home. Even there, Mom and Dad shared a room until Dad’s recovery. Mom remained until her death.
Even though Dad was using a walker in recent years, he was quite active. He enjoyed going to lunch with his devoted sister-in-law, Eileen Seiser, liked to share family gatherings and also short car trips. He’d even drive to the drive-up windows at Subway and KFC for a small pizza or two chicken legs, until his doctor “restricted” his driving last year.
He always enjoyed sports. As a young teenager, he caddied at the local golf course, while at Morristown, N.J., High School, class of 1937, he had pitched a no hitter and was scouted by the Yankees (batting average of. .576), but World War II interfered with any professional hopes. He was active in softball and baseball leagues, basketball, golfing, bowling, pool… as Mom had often said, “If it involved a ball, Loy was playing it!” Dad was also great player of games with “his girls.” He taught us how to play many board games like Sorry, and card games -- Rummy and even Poker, reminding us to ante up.
Besides being well known for his sport activities, Dad was known for his great sense of humor. Even while in bed at the Maine Veterans’ Home, and in pain, a nurse had brought a comb to him asking if he’d like to use it “now or later.” Dad’s reply (with a straight face) was, “Later … when my hair grows in.” Dad was nearly bald most of his life. He was always ready with a quick quip and a big smile.
Dad was retired from Rowe Manufacturing in Whippany, N.J., as the payroll administrator. But he held positions as an assembler, plumber, carpenter, handyman and “Jack-of-All-Trades, but Master-of-None” -- Dad’s title for himself.
Besides his daughters, sons-in-law, sisters and sister-in-law, there are others that are going to miss him; his grandchildren, Ann (Scheff) Sowers of Spring Brook Township, Pa., Joseph Scheff of Wyoming, Sarah (Hubert) Ricker of Pittston, Maine, Benjamin Hubert of San Diego, Calif., and Mary Hubert of Pittston, Maine; and three great-grandchildren, Jacob Sowers, George Riker and Madelyn Scheff
Dad leaves us giving us pride in his accomplishments, being honored with his sense of duty and love in our beings, for he was a good father.
My sister and I would like to thank the staff at the Maine Veterans’ Home in Augusta. They so well provided the understanding and care he and our family needed during Dad’s last days with us.
A committal service with military honors will be held for Dad at the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Mt Vernon Road, Augusta, Maine, on at 1 p.m. Monday.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Dad’s memory to Health Reach Hospice, PO Box 828, Waterville, ME 04903; or to Maine Veterans’ Home, 310 Cony Road, Augusta, ME 04330.