David R. Harmon
AGE: 69 • Newark
David R. Harmon, age 69, of Newark, DE passed away peacefully at Heartland Hospice House November 5, 2013. He was surrounded by his loving family. David fought a long and courageous battle against COPD and lung cancer, outliving by several years predictions made by all his physicians.
Born in Wilmington, DE and raised in Hockessin, David was the son of Jean and Jesse Harmon. David graduated from A.I. DuPont H.S. where he was a highly competitive wrestler and an accomplished musician in the band. He attended Ursinus College prior to enlisting and serving as an Army
Engineer in Viet Nam, where he received two Bronze Stars
for meritorious service. Following his service, he enrolled at the University of Delaware, graduating in 1972 with a Bachelors of Electrical Engineering. David began his professional engineer career with the Atlas Chemical Company, which later became ICI, working in Wilmington, DE, Pasadena, CA and Houston, TX. During his years working in Wilmington, David was an avid sailor of his beloved trimaran in the Chesapeake Bay.
He then began a career with CITCO Petroleum Company, serving as the chief plant maintenance and safety engineer at a large refinery in Lake Charles, LA and then at a smaller refining plant in Savannah, GA as its principal Environmental Engineer. In this position he worked with local and state environmentalists making important contributions to improving the water quality of the Savannah River.
David married the late Helen Nikiforou of Queens, NYC, in 1981 and they had a son, Christopher. After Helen's death in 1993, David devoted his life to raising Christopher, which he did as a single parent. Taking an early retirement in his mid-50's, David followed in the footsteps of his childhood hero, Mr. Wizard, and spent his time inventing and building a wide variety of mechanical objects. He also participated as a citizen scientist in the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute's SETIQuest program to monitor possible radio signals from space. One year he was one of the top processors in the country for this project. He also was a member of The Planetary Society. A gifted craftsman, David did beautiful woodwork and made wonderful toys for his son, nieces and nephews.
David is survived by his son, Christopher Harmon of Newark, DE, and five sisters: Marcia Aston (Richard) of Wilkes-Barre, PA; Cynthia Ramer (Barry Bley) of Arvada, CO; Margaret Baldridge (Jim) of Baltimore, MD; Priscilla Putnam (Steve) of Newark, DE; and Mary Harmon of Santa Rosa, CA. He is also survived by nieces and nephews Mark Aston of Boulder, CO; Joan Liut of Edgewater, MD; Debbie Eleoterio of Downingtown, PA; Pam Wiederrich of Broomfield, CO; Kristen Ramer-Van Horne of Evergreen, CO; Mary Jean Baldridge and Paul Baldridge of Fullerton, NE; Danny Crawford of Philadelphia, PA; and Anne Putnam of Wilmington, DE, as well as many grand nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the staff of Heartland Hospice who very skillfully oversaw David's care for the past 18 months, and to the compassionate doctor, nurses and staff who made his last weeks of life as comfortable as possible. The family would also like to thank the caregivers at Your Own Home Senior Caregivers and Life Source, whose professionalism and caring were greatly appreciated.
An informal service to remember David will be held on Sunday, November 24, 2013 at 2:00 PM at CHANDLER FUNERAL HOME, 7230 Lancaster Pike, Hockessin. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in David's memory to The Sunday Breakfast Mission, 110 N. Poplar St., Wilmington, DE 19801, or The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, 6 Herndon Ave, Annapolis, MD 21403.
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