Charles E. "Chuck" Harmon passed away peacefully Jan. 8, 2013 at the age of 78 in Green Valley, Ariz. Born in Flint, Mich., to Harold and Fern Harmon, he grew up in Lansing, Mich., graduating from Lansing Eastern High School. Chuck went on to a journalism degree from Michigan State University
After a tour of duty in the United States Army in Germany, he resumed a news career begun while still in high school at Lansing radio station WILS. He wrote for the Kalamazoo Gazette and later Booth Newspapers in Detroit. His work attracted the attention of George Romney who would go on to be governor of Michigan. Chuck became Gov. Romney's press secretary and served for his entire office tenure.
Later he was director of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulation under Michigan Gov. William Milliken. He was CEO of the Health Care Association of Michigan. There his work led to membership on the Board of Directors of the American Health Care Association Executives; and later, on the American Society of Health Care Association Ethics Task Force. Chuck also served as treasurer of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency for Michigan. Along the way, he was summoned back to state governmental service for appointment to several state task forces and study committees. At Chuck's retirement from active work in 1994, he was honored with a Michigan State Senate Resolution commending his distinguished service to the people of Michigan.
His enduring love of books, history and politics led him in retirement to write for the Michigan History Magazine and to go on to author the definitive history of the Michigan Court of Appeals. His book, "A Matter of Right," was published in 2002. Choral and classical music brought great joy and satisfaction to him.
Though he grew up in Lansing, his work often made home wherever he was led. He and his wife, Roberta "Bobbie," eventually settled in Eaton Rapids, Mich. In retirement, they moved to Arizona, a place he loved from childhood. They are active members of the Lutheran Church of Risen Savior in Green Valley, Ariz., and enjoyed singing in the choir. Chuck volunteered at St. Andrew's Children's Clinic of Nogales, Ariz., serving the special needs of indigent children of our Mexican neighbors. Chuck recently celebrated 30 years of AA fellowship. He loved golf and the Michigan State Spartans.
Chuck is survived by his beloved wife, Roberta "Bobbie;" his sons Jeffrey (Marjorie) and Matthew (Laurie) Harmon; and Elizabeth (Francisco) Vela, John (Cynthia) Kubal and Catherine Price. Grandchildren Molly, Maisie, Donald, Jakob, and Daniel Harmon, Lindsay Pinson, Anne and Natalie Jorgensen, Madison and Emily Kubal, Caitlin (Steven) Yates, Hannah Goetz; great-grandsons Jace and Tevyn; and special cousin Joann Commons. Great-grandson Braydon predeceased him.
A Memorial celebration of his life will be conducted at the Lutheran Church of the Risen Savior by Rev. Dr. John Stieve on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 11 a.m.; inurnment following. Contributions may be made to his church at 555 La Caada, Green Valley, Ariz. 85614; or to Odyssey Hospice 5210 E. Williams Circle, Suite 300, Tucson, Ariz. 85711.