James A. Harter (Sign Guestbook)
James A. Harter, age 94, died peacefully at home on March 12, 2017. Jim was born in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania on September 13, 1922 and grew up in New Jersey and State College, Pennsylvania. He was preceded in death by mother, Pauline Owens Harter, father James Andrew Harter; and sister, Ruth H. Sholly. He leaves behind his wife of 67 years, Ann Harter; daughter Barbara Whelchel (Ward) of Naples Florida; son, Bob Harter of Knoxville, Tennessee; grandsons, Andrew Whelchel (Christine) Brad Whelchel, Michael Reeves (Lori); granddaughter, Emily Morrell (Clint); five great-grandchildren; three nephews and two nieces; and other extended family and friends. Jim loved his family and will be greatly missed.
Jim was a member of St. Paul United Methodist Church since 1953. He was able to be in the choir for over 50 years. He graduated in the class of 1944 from Penn State with an Electrical Engineering degree and remains a Senior Member of IEEE. Because of WWII, he graduated in November of 1943. While waiting to be drafted, he accepted a job with General Electric in Schenectady, New York. In March of 1944, he was recruited for the Manhattan Project in a place he had never heard of – Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He first was hired by what was then called Clinton Engineer Works (later Y-12). For many years he was with the Health Physics Division (ORNL) and later Instrumentation and Controls. He retired in 1985. He and Ann enjoyed living in Fountain City, and Jim loved his adopted state, especially the surrounding East Tennessee lakes and mountains.
Music was always a special part of his life. First at The Episcopal Boys Choir in New Jersey, then serving as President of the Penn State Symphony Orchestra (first chair French horn player). He was also in Penn State Glee Club and Blue Band. Jim was a life member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He was first an assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 256 at St. Paul Church. Later as Scoutmaster, the Troop hiked the Cumberland and Smoky Mountains once a month, rain or shine. Jim was also involved for over 20 years in scenic conservation issues. He was especially concerned with protecting the scenic beauty with better sign control and elimination of litter locally and statewide. In 1988 he was honored as Man of the Year at Honor Fountain City Day. He helped form Scenic Tennessee and Scenic Knoxville. He served on the board of the Washington, D.C. based Scenic America. Jim was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from Scenic Knoxville in 2009. The family enjoyed relaxing at Norris Lake at the cabin built in 1976 next door to their lifelong friends Louis and Dixie Iglehart. Everyone could always count on Jim’s patience pulling water skiers, or acting as fishing guide.
The family will Receive Friends on Thursday, March 16th from 4-5 pm at St. Paul United Methodist Church, 4014 Garden Drive in Fountain City. A Celebration of Life will follow at 5 pm, with retired minister Rev. Andy Ferguson officiating. A Private Family Burial will be held at Greenwood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to St. Paul UMC, Mobile Meals, or a charity of your choice. Gentry Griffey Funeral Chapel is honored to serve the Harter family and invites you to view and sign their online guestbook below.