Tempe Mortuary - Tempe
405 E Southern Ave.
Tempe, AZ 85282
(480) 967-1643
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James E. Harelson

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James E. Harelson Obituary
Harelson, James E.
92, Tempe native and WWII veteran, passed away Friday, December 27, 2013. Born Nov, 4, 1921 Jim's Tempe roots reached back to the 19th century when his father Harvey arrived in 1918 on a motorcycle from Kansas City, Missouri meeting Phoenix native Mabel Green in Tempe. The younger of two children he graduated from Tempe High School in 1939 and Arizona State College in 1946. A month after the attack on Pearl Harbor he joined the Army Air Corps serving in New Guinea and in the Philippines as a PBY navigator with the task of rescuing and recovering downed airmen and sailors. James met his wife Juanita Law at Tempe Beach where he was State Junior Diving Champion. He is survived by Juanita, a former multi-term Arizona State Representative and Senator. He joined his father at Harelson Insurance Service in 1949 where he remained until retiring in 1988. As one of the founding members of the Tempe Kiwanis Club, Jim stayed active in Tempe Kiwanis for over 58 years and was the 3rd club president. Jim was an avid outdoorsman who loved Arizona, exploring, camping, and boating all over the state and the west. He was passionate about golf and a long time member of Mesa Country Club and Pinetop Country Club. He was an expert fisherman and made catching the "big one" look easy. Juanita currently lives in a Tempe care facility. Additionally, James is survived by his sister Dorothy Moomaw in Tempe, son Ted Harelson in San Diego, Patrick Harelson in Huachuca City, and Rex Harelson in Tempe. He was preceded in death by son Barry Harelson who died of lung cancer. He has 3 daughters-in-law, 5 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held on Friday, January 3, 2014 at 10:00 AM at Tempe Mortuary, 405 E. Southern Ave, Tempe, AZ. immediately followed by the burial, with military honors, at Double Buttes Cemetery in Tempe. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Sante Hospice, 8502 E Princess Dr #200, Scottsdale, AZ 85255. Arrangements entrusted to Tempe Mortuary.

Published in The Arizona Republic on Jan. 1, 2014
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