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It is with great sadness that the family of Robert Joseph Harmening (“Bob”) announce his passing on Saturday, December 28, 2019 in Wake Forest, North Carolina.
Bob was born on October 2, 1938 in Indianapolis, IN. From a young age, Bob loved animals, tractors, and working in greenhouses. He served in the United States Army and attended Marian College (now Marian University) in Indianapolis, IN, earning a degree in business. Bob’s career with FMC initially brought him to Boston, MA, where he met his wife, Joan. Bob and Joan were married on October 27, 1968 in Norwood, MA. Following their time in Boston, Bob’s career as a company manager brought them to Indianapolis, IN, Knoxville, TN, Morganton, NC, and Grafton, WI. Bob also frequently traveled to Puerto Rico during his time with the company. Bob received many business and industry recognitions and awards throughout his career. In May 1989, he was the recipient of The Society of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine award by Governor James G. Martin. After nearly 38 years of service, and through multiple mergers and acquisitions with the company ultimately becoming Invensys, Bob retired in 2001 and they relocated to Davidson, NC. In 2005, they moved to Wake Forest to be closer to grandchildren. Bob kept busy by working at Target, where he greatly enjoyed interacting with customers of all ages. One of his happiest experiences was in April of 2014, when the community of Wake Forest came together in an outpouring of support for his grandson, Erik, who needed a liver transplant. In his spare time, Bob had a passion for growing tomatoes and green peppers. During spring and summer, he could always be found working in the garden, mowing the lawn, or making a rhubarb pie. Bob was also a fan of bluegrass music, golf, water skiing, and auto racing.
Beginning in 2017, Bob began experiencing health challenges. Throughout this time, he had the loving support of family and friends. Bob’s family wishes to extend a heartfelt thank you to the Rex Cancer Center in Wakefield, Raleigh Neurology, and Betty Crudup, who helped care for Bob during this time.
Bob is survived by his wife, Joan Harmening (Ollis); children, Robert C. Harmening (Martha), Lorraine Chapin (Jim), Colleen Larsen (Carl); grandchildren, Robert G. and Rebekah Harmening, Ryan and Parker Chapin, and Patrick and Erik Larsen; siblings, Bill Harmening, Margaret Ann Hillan (Bob), Tom Harmening (Karen), and Mary Clare Strack (Greg).
He is preceded in death by his parents Maurice and Charlotte, and sister-in-law, Wilma Harmening.
A visitation was held Thursday, January 2, 2020 from 6:00 pm -8:00 pm at Bright Funeral Home, 405 S. Main St., Wake Forest, NC 27587. A funeral mass will be held Friday, January 3, 2020 at 11:00 am at St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church, 12333 Bayleaf Church Rd., Raleigh, NC 27614. Burial will follow the service at Pine Forest Memorial Gardens, 770 Stadium Dr., Wake Forest, NC 27587.
Memorial donations may be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation at Parkinson.org or to the following address: Parkinson’s Foundation, Carolinas Chapter, 200 SE 1st Street, Suite 800, Miami, FL 33131.
A service of Bright Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 405 S. Main St., Wake Forest. (919) 556-5811