James Russell Harton
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87, died July 31. He was born Jan. 6, 1926, in Milroy, Rush Co., Ind., to Russell and Leona Harton and lived there until moving to Bloomington to attend Indiana University in 1945.
While student teaching at the old Bloomington High School, he met Joan Feldman, who was also a student teacher. They graduated from I.U. and were married Dec. 30, 1950, then moved to Chicago, where Jim was a meat inspector for the U.S. Army. They moved to Washington, Ind., in 1952 and Indianapolis in 1955.
It was in Washington that Jim started a long career with the Dairy Division of the Indiana State Board of Health, where he inspected dairy processing plants before becoming a supervisor and training many people who work in the field today. He retired in 1993 but remained involved and in 2011 won the Steve Atkisson Indiana Dairy Service Award for his lifetime of service to the industry. He was a long-time member of the Indiana Environmental Health Association.
Jim and Joan had three sons: Bob, born in 1953; Steve, born in 1956; and Tom, born in 1962. Jim was a past president of Christian Park Little League and of the Men's 400 Club at Thomas Carr Howe High School. He was an active member of the Christian Park neighborhood association and volunteered at Irvington Presbyterian Church, where he was a member for 57 years.
Jim was a great dad, grandpa, neighbor and friend. He loved Big Band music, trains, travel, gin martinis and speaking a little German from time to time. And he never lost his interest in the dairy industry. He rarely ate ice cream or drank milk without looking at the package to see where it was made.
Jim was preceded in death by his son Steve (1986) and wife Joan (2003). He is survived by sons Bob and Tom; Bob's wife, Janey; his grandchildren, Anne, Claire, Mary, Steve and Ted; sister, Marilyn Clarkson, of Sooke, British Columbia; niece, Karen Laharty, also of Sooke; and dear friend Mary Ann Tock, of Grand Rapids, Mich.
Visitation is on Sunday, Aug. 4, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Irvington Presbyterian Church. Services will be at 11 a.m. on Monday in the church, with visitation an hour before.
Donations can be made to Irvington Presbyterian Church, 55 Johnson Ave., Indianapolis, 46219. Arrangements are being handled by Oakley-Hammond Funeral Home in Irvington.
Published in the The Indianapolis Star on Aug. 2, 2013