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David Harcum


1929 - 2018 Obituary Condolences Gallery
David Harcum Obituary
Harcum, David
1929 - 2018
"Enjoy life! This is not a dress rehearsal!" David A. Harcum handed out thousands of buttons with this sentiment to friends and innocent bystanders across the United States and in 70 countries around the world. He died Feb. 7, 2018, at age 89. Agitator and instigator, Dave excelled at starting a debate, a cause or a party. He loved playing both the banjo ("We aren't good, but we're loud") and devil's advocate. Dave was born at home in Wilmington, Ohio, to the late Heber and Loraine (Bates) Harcum on Feb. 5, 1929. He was also preceded in death by siblings Mary Elizabeth (1917), Bates (1980) and Winnifred Grenamyer (1999) and by daughter-in-law Mary Sue Harcum (1998). He is survived by June, his wife of 64 years; daughter and son-in-law, Beth and Jad Dubberley; son, Joe Harcum; granddaughter, Katie Harcum; step-grandchildren, Christy and Keith Schroder and Andy and Stephanie Blossom; step-great-grandchildren, Jon and Megan Schroeder and Perry and Asher Blossom; as well as nieces and nephews. After graduating from Wilmington High School in 1947, Dave enrolled in Wilmington College, majoring in business. During his sophomore and junior years at Arizona State, he was a founding member of the Lamba Chi Alpha chapter. He returned to Wilmington for his senior year in time to start dating freshman June Leppert. Dave and June married in 1953. Weeks after Beth was born in 1956, Dave finished building their home on Mitchell Road in Wilmington, where Joe completed the family in 1959. After exploring various vocations, Dave obtained a degree in education. He started his career as English teacher at Mr. Orab High School and then moved to Mt. Pleasant Elementary School as teacher, coach and overall building manager. In 1960, Dave was named principal of Maple Dale Elementary School in the Sycamore School District in Cincinnati. Later, as assistant superintendent, his responsibilities included driving the snowy back roads in his 1959 VW bug to see if school should be cancelled. In 1966, Dave became superintendent of the Greenhills-Forest Park City School District in suburban Cincinnati, where his ideas often meant taking on the authorities for innovations that are now standard. Dave admitted, "I was never substantially embarrassed by having my name on the front page of the paper, above the fold." True to his motto, "Do good," he worked with many local and statewide organizations and causes. After they retired in 1984, "the Bugs" traveled extensively. Dave and Joe built a collection of antique cars and hosted social and fundraising events at Past Perfect at Hide-Away Hills, Ohio, where Dave and June moved when Dave started his post-retirement career with Nationwide Insurance, insuring school districts across Ohio. Dave retired again but continued offering advice to anyone who asked — and many who didn't — and other acts of community involvement in Lancaster and at Wilmington College, where he was a life trustee and received an honorary doctorate. Dave and June were especially proud of their involvement in the Fairfield County children's advocacy center, known as Harcum House. In 2011, Dave and June moved to Wesley Ridge in Reynoldsburg, where they enjoyed new friends and new opportunities to make a difference. Dave was a 32rd degree Mason. There will be a private service at the family's convenience. Family will receive friends on Sat., Feb. 17, 1-3 p.m., in the Kimes Chapel at Wesley Ridge, 2225 Taylor Park Dr., Reynoldsburg, OH, 43068. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Dave's memory to the Harcum Scholarship Fund at Wesley Ridge or to Harcum House, 1147 E Main St., Suite B, Lancaster, OH, 43130.
Published in The Columbus Dispatch from Feb. 14 to Feb. 16, 2018
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