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Thomas Harrer

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Thomas Harrer Obituary
Harrer, Thomas Lee

Thomas Lee Harrer of Sister Bay died peacefully on October 11, 2013, with his family at his side. Tom was born in Mason City, Iowa, on July 10, 1944, to Donald Harrer and Elizabeth Hakes.

Tom served his country on the DMZ in Korea during the 1960s, and was honorably discharged in 1968 having achieved the rank of First Lieutenant with the 10th Cavalry unit of the 7th Infantry division. He received his bachelors degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin Madison. He later found great fulfillment in serving his community through his work with the Red Cross and as a school bus driver for Gibraltar Area Schools. He was also known for his work with the passing of many educational referendums as a co-founder of Because The Kids Matter.

Tom had a passion for anything that he could fly, sail, or drive. Over his life he flew small aircraft and taught at flight school; built and drove professional race cars on the SCCA circuit, and attained a Captain's License with the US Merchant Marine. As a young man he raced sailboats on the lakes of Madison, WI, and as an adult he was always happiest sailing the Great Lakes on his beloved Whitewings III.

Tom is survived by his wife, Ann Lynaugh; his daughter Ellen Harrer; his son, Max Milverstedt (Sara Yoder) and their children Sam and Charlie; his siblings, John, Martha, and Maggie; and his father, Donald Harrer. He was preceded in death by his mother, Elizabeth Hakes.

To honor his wishes, there will be no funeral services. However, we encourage those who knew him to raise a beer in his honor and find comfort in the knowledge that he is sailing the Great Lakes eternal, where the wind is always steady and the waters always calm, which is exactly where he'd want to be.

If desired, donations can be made to the Red Cross Disaster Relief fund in his memory. (

Published in Door County Advocate on Oct. 19, 2013
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