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St Paul's Episcopal Parish
2216 17th St
Bakersfield, CA 93301

Tom Harlan


1947 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Tom Harlan Obituary

Tom Harlan
1947 - 2018

Tom Harlan passed away surrounded by family on June 9. He is survived by his loving wife, Kathy, his daughters and their spouses Katie and Andrew Allen and Kristen and Sarah Barsky-Harlan, granddaughters Kathryn Nevaeh and Kenzie Rose Allen and brothers Jon Harlan, Mark Nyssen.

Tom was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1947 to Les and Virginia Harlan. As a child he enjoyed Boy Scouts and flying in the family Beechcraft Bonanza on vacations. In high school he developed an interest in printing and operated a print shop in the garage. He majored in Graphic Technology at Arizona State University. He married Kathy, his college sweetheart after graduating and accepted a sales position at a silk screen printing business in Berkeley, CA. Sales was a perfect fit for this outgoing, friendly man who was genuinely interested in everyone he met. Tom's success in printing sales grew and at one time he was the largest manufacturer of video game boxes in the United States.

Tom and Kathy raised their daughters, Katie and Kristen in Los Gatos and Danville, CA. He was a devoted family man, participating in Indian Princesses and school activities. He also enjoyed travel, in the course of business visiting Europe, Japan and Taiwan. He took the family on adventures in Mexico, England, Hong Kong, Bali, and around the US introducing his family to different people, places and cultures.

Tom loved a good party. He celebrated his 40th birthday with a themed dinner, "Tom says sayonara to his youth" catered by a Japanese restaurant. For his 50th he filled General Hap Arnold's DC10 with family and friends on a tour of San Francisco Bay during Fleet Week celebrations.

He was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's in 2010. To receive help with Tom's care and to be closer to their grandchildren Tom and Kathy moved to Bakersfield in 2013. They found a loving church family at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in downtown Bakersfield.

It has been a long, difficult journey. The family is grateful for the support of ADAKC adult day care, Hoffman Hospice, and Jasmine Gardens Residential Care. A celebration of life will be held at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 2216 17th Street at 11:00 am on Friday, June 15. In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Alzheimer's Disease Association of Kern County or St. Paul's Food Pantry is appreciated.

Published in Bakersfield Californian on June 12, 2018
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