Lt. Col. William Marion (Bill) Harvey, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), 86, of Niceville FL passed away peacefully Tues. morning, Feb. 7, 2012. Born Mar. 25, 1925, in Las Cruces NM to William Marion Harvey and Katrina Varnedoe (Kroeger), he is survived by his wife of 63 years, Lorraine A. (Veitch); and their children, William (Jerry) of Niceville, Margaret and husband Mark Kilburn of Albuquerque NM, Robert and wife Santhi, and grandson William of Dayton OH; his brother and sister-in-law Jim and Norma of Las Cruces; sister-in-law Joan of Hesperia CA; and cousins, nieces and nephews around the country. He was preceded in death by his parents; and his brothers Hugh and Paul. As a young high school graduate, Marion served in the US Marine Corps on Okinawa in WWII. Upon his return to Las Cruces, he married Lorraine, pursued his BS in Electrical Engineering from New Mexico A & M, earned his commission in the US Air Force and completed pilot's training, achieved his MS in Mechanical Engineering from University of Michigan, and subsequently pursued PhD studies in Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Arizona. During his Air Force service, Marion's assignments took the family from Las Cruces to Waco TX; then, from Ann Arbor MI, to Albuquerque NM, followed by assignments to Church St. in New York City, Hanscom Field in MA, Tucson, Fairborn OH; and, two service tours flying C-130s in Southeast Asia. Upon his retirement from the Air Force while at Eglin AFB, Marion and Lorraine continued to make their home in Niceville for the next 34 years. The discipline with which Marion pursued his education was evident in his studies of language when in MA and his conditioning to run several marathons during his years in Niceville. After his retirement, he continued his professional engineering interests in work for several different companies in NW Florida, El Paso TX, and the White Sands Missile Range in NM; he enjoyed some travels with Lorraine piloting twin engines cross country to visit family and friends; he served as a lector in his church; enjoyed camaraderie with the Daedalians; and volunteered with the Retiree Affairs Office and the Satellite Pharmacy at Eglin. In more recent years, he filled many crossword puzzle books, enjoyed the kind companionship during weekly outings to Bingo, and looked forward to family visits with games of Scrabble and Dominoes. Following a Visitation and Funeral Mass on Mon., Feb. 13, at Eglin Air Force Base Chapel, Marion was interred on Tues., Feb. 14, at the Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola FL. Online condolences can be submitted to www.twincitiescremationsfunerals.com.
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Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Feb. 19, 2012