Calvin "Cal" Harms (1924 - 2014)

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Calvin "Cal" Harms


Calvin "Cal" L. Harms passed away at the Hillcrest Home in Sumner, Iowa on Monday, August 18,2014 at the age of 90. Cal was born in rural Sumner on Feb. 3, 1924 along with his twin brother Melvin. Cal attended Sumner High School graduating in 1941.

In 1942 he entered the Army Air Corp. and became a pilot flying domestically until 1945. Upon returning back to Iowa he entered Upper Iowa University graduating in 1948. During that time he played football for the legendary coach Doc Dorman where he captained the team in 1947. Upon graduation he taught in the Elkader, Iowa school district and coached football, basketball and baseball.

On June 2,1950 he married Iris June Freitag of Readlyn. In 1952 the family returned to Sumner and with brother Mel they formed Harms Insurance Agency, a partnership that lasted for 30 years.

Cal is known statewide for his passion of officiating high school sports. His career included 32 years as a basketball official working 20 consecutive state tournaments. He worked 30 years as a football referee and worked 7 championship games during that time. He also umpired the state baseball tourney for 15 consecutive years. In 1977 he became a charter member in the Iowa High School Athletic Association Officials Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Iowa Baseball Coaches Assoc. Hall of Fame and in 1983 was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the National Federation of Interscholastic Officials. In 1986 Cal was inducted into the Upper Iowa University Athletic Hall of Fame and in 1989 he became a member of the National High School Sports Hall of Fame. When offered an opportunity of work major college football Cal declined say "my love is high school officiating and high school kids." Cal's wife Iris was usually not far away during Cal's travels throughout the state. The family enjoyed fishing and hunting together and made numerous trips of Canada where Iris normally outfished him.

Cal was a member of the American Legion Post 223 and St. John Lutheran Church, both in Sumner.

Cal is survived by sons Steve (Diane) Of West Des Moines, Iowa, Tom (Kim) Marshfield, Missouri and daughter Bette (Virgil) of Waterloo, Iowa. brother-in-law and sister in-law Reinhart Freitag Jr. and his wife Corlyn. 9 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his wife Iris, brothers Mel and Myron and sister Virginia.

Memorials may by sent to the Iowa Hall of Pride, 330 Park Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50309.

Funeral services will be held at 11 am on Friday, August 22, 2014 at St. John Lutheran Church in Sumner with Rev. William Runaas officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery with Military Honors by the Thomas E. Woods Post 223 American Legion of Sumner, Iowa.

A public visitation will be held from 4 pm until 7 pm on Thursday, August 21, 2014 at S.K. Rogers Funeral Home in Sumner.

S.K. Rogers Funeral Home of Sumner is assisting with the arrangements.

Funeral Home
S. K. Rogers Funeral Home - Sumner
118 W 1st Street  Sumner, IA 50674
Funeral Home Details
Published in Des Moines Register on Aug. 20, 2014
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