John Henry HARNS

  • "I met John only once when we discussed Falcos. He was..."
    - Michael Schuler
  • "I have many fond memories of my father in law. He will be..."
    - Suanne Harns
  • "Pat and family, we were saddened to learn about John. You..."
    - Tom & Peg Carver
  • "John was a very good friend to me, and helped guide me..."
    - Jerry Turner
  • "Thank you for your service to our country. Rest In Peace."
Service Information
Funeral Mass
Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019
11:00 AM
St. Pius X Parish
Coeur d'Alene, ID
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HARNS, John Henry Born September 23, 1930 Evansville, Indiana Died December 17, 2019 Post Falls, Idaho As civil engineer, John's father worked with the U.S. Corps of Engineers. John's family lived in several areas in the Midwest and Northeast, winding up in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. There he met his future wife and life long partner, Patricia Donnelly, while attending Loretto Catholic High School. They "illegally" married in July of 1952 against Navy policy while John was still a cadet in Flight Training. Prior to joining the Navy John spent time as a smokejumper out of Cave Junction, Ore. and as a deckhand on the ore boats plying the Great Lakes. Later in his career as a Naval Aviator, John straddled the transition from WWII piston engined fighters to the advent of the new jet fighters and bombers. He flew off of twelve different Carriers with over 700 carrier landings night and day. He fought in the Koren war, Three Day war and in Viet Nam, logging eighty nine combat missions. Through his Navy career he was promoted because of his hard work and natural ability to fly. John was in seven different squadrons and was an Executive Officer and the Commanding Officer of the last one. He ended his Naval flying career in the venerable McDonnell Douglas A-4 Skyhawk. Just before retiring he built and flew a Baby Great Lakes bi-plane in Hawaii. Upon retiring he built a home on 44 acres in northern Idaho then took to building his pride and joy an F8.L Falco, a high performance low wing plane which gave the thrill of flying fast again and ultimate freedom. He and his wife Pat flew all over the country on many occasions in that plane, often Back to Sault Ste Marie and across the U.S. to Florida . During his post military flying days he maintained a Certified Flight Instructor license. He flew charters and instructed for many years only stopping flying in his late 80s when the flight surgeons wouldn't allow it. He received the Wilber and Orville Wright award for over fifty years of continuous flying! John was also active in the Elks of St. Maries and for awhile was the Emergency Management Director. He was an active supporter of the Young Eagles, giving many young boys and girls their first taste of flying in his Falco. John was an active member of the Experimental Aircraft Association, helping many members with building projects, test flights of new homebuilt aircraft, and aircraft familiarization training. In 1993 John and Pat moved to Post Falls, Idaho where they have remained enjoying the closeness of their kids, grandkids and great grandkids. He is survived by his wife Patricia and children: Thomas Peter Harns, Barbara H. Powers, Stephen Mark Harns and Suanne Harns, Mary Jo Tompkins and Don Tompkins. Grandchildren: Forrest Harns; Vanessa Harns Kitchen and Zack Kitchen; Zach Harns; Rosa Powers and Andrew Zeller; Patrick Powers; Heather and Jake McIntire; Great-Grandchildren: Lily and Sawyer Harns; Lola and Louie Kitchen; Leila and Wolfgang Zeller; Tawny and Corbin McIntire; and numerous nieces and nephews. Funeral Mass will be held at 11am, Saturday, December 28 at St. Pius X Parish, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
Published in Spokesman-Review on Dec. 22, 2019
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