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Charles Harriger


10/23/1930 - 11/15/2014 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Charles Harriger Obituary
In the words of Chuck himself,
"I was born at an early age on October 23, 1930."
Indeed, Charles Henry Harriger was born on this date to Henry Charles Harriger and Juanita (Peggy) Flora Bell (Craig) Harriger in Exeter, Nebraska. Chuck's final note to his sister Charlene an hour before leaving earth was a quote from a song; "Oh, what a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see". The Lord ordained Chuck's arrival in heaven on November 15, 2014.
Chuck described his childhood as a happy time. Stories of living in nothing much more than a shack, a friend dropping off a jar of milk, witnessing the miracle of his grandpa Fred Harriger craft a perfectly round wagon wheel in his blacksmith shop, and helping their sow deliver seven piglets are a sampling of Chuck's memories. At age seven, Chuck's mom trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as her Savior and Lord through the radio ministry of Theodore H. Epp. Within a year, Chuck also trusted Christ as his savior at Vacation Bible School. A key verse that Chuck learned that summer was
John 5:24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes in him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life."
Chuck wrote that he didn't understand how a little kid could understand the message of salvation through Christ alone, but he believed and his life was never the same. After spending several years on a government project farm in Two Rivers, Nebraska, Chuck's dad accepted the Lord's calling to be a missionary with the American Sunday School Union.
At the age of 13, they left the farm and moved to Broken Bow, Nebraska where Chuck's dad would minister. At Broken Bow High School, Chuck played the clarinet in the band and also sang in the mixed chorus. He carried his love of singing throughout his lifetime singing in church choirs and men's quartets. Chuck also enjoyed sports and played his heart out even though he only considered himself a "participant". Whether it was football, basketball, or track, Chuck loved just being out there "with the big guys". After high school, Chuck attended Grace Bible Institute in Omaha, Nebraska. At Grace, he met the love of his life, Alice Hedman. Chuck wrote that she was very trim and nice looking and the first girl that he paid much attention to. On their first date, they went to a hockey game. Chuck said that he doesn't remember who won, but it was sort of fun to sit next to someone who smelled so good and was nice to talk to. They became engaged in the first semester of their sophomore year, the fall of 1949. When Alice moved back home to Bakersfield, Chuck followed. They were married on June 16, 1950. Chuck worked at McMahan's Furniture store and later Alice and Chuck both worked at Urner's.
In 1957, Chuck and Alice began their own appliance repair business, Chuck's Appliance Service. Many relied on Chuck to keep their washer, dryer, stove, or disposer running and still called on him after his retirement in 2012. Chuck was a member of the Fairfax School Board for 43 years until his retirement from the board in May, 2014. During his tenure he saw the expansion from two school campuses to four campuses with the addition of Shirley Lane and Zephyr Lane. Chuck loved sports and was an important contributor to Foothill High School athletics. He coached the Jack Frost football Pirates for 15 years which was the feeder program for Foothill football. He also coached the Foothill frosh-soph team for seven years as well as softball at Bakersfield High School for eight years. A shining moment in his life was April 2014 when Chuck was inducted into the Foothill Athletic Hall of Fame. He never did understand why he was honored this way; he was just a guy who loved just being out there with the big guys. Even though he didn't know it, Chuck was one of the big guys.
Chuck leaves behind four children, Charlice Brown (Ron), Mark Harriger (Tricia), Jan Clark (Ken Kenney), and Kevin Harriger (Debra). A fifth child, Timothy Harriger died at six months of age in 1958. Chuck is also survived by eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Chuck was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Alice. He is survived by his siblings, Charlene Glover (Dave), Bill Harriger (Lois), Tom Harriger (Joy), and LaDawn Polvogt (Thom). Chuck and Alice loved to go to Hawaii, their paradise, having made the trip 27 times beginning with their 20th wedding anniversary. Chuck is now in the paradise of heaven singing praises to the Lord. Using Chuck's words,
"It has been interesting to see how God gets us where He wants us and how He accomplishes His purpose in each of our lives. How sweet it is to be in His will."
Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 pm on Friday, November 21st, at Hillcrest Memorial Park and Mortuary. A memorial service and reception will be held on November 22nd at 11:00 am at Fellowship Baptist Church, 3001 Stine Road. The memorial service and reception are open to the public.
Published in Bakersfield Californian from Nov. 20 to Nov. 21, 2014
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