James Leroy Harner passed away on 2/5/23 at home in Two Harbors, Minnesota, at the age of 98. He was born in Chicago, IL on 9/15/24, to Leroy and Grace (Danielson) Harner. He had three siblings - older sister Marian Roberts, and younger brothers William and Robert.
Jim graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School in Chicago in 1942 and served in the Navy in WWII as a First Class Radio/Radar Man from 1944 to 1946. He studied at Wright Junior College, earned a Bachelor’s degree and then a Master’s in Education from Cal State LA. He was a high school science and math teacher in the Pomona Unified School District, California for most of his career, retiring in 1985. He and his students experienced a real fire drill in 1956 at Pomona High School, when the school was gutted by a fire.
Jim met Janis Lillian (neé Romell) Harner at an ice skating rink in Los Angeles, and they married in 1955. Over the next 12 years they had six children – Joy, Jay, Jon, Jill, Jean and Jennifer. All six have middle names starting with L, just like their parents. In 1968, Jim and Janis purchased property on Marble Lake in northern Minnesota from Janis’ aunt and uncle, and the family subsequently spent summers there for many years. Jim and Janis lived in Ontario, California from 1955 to 2021, and then moved to Two Harbors, Minnesota.
Jim enjoyed golfing, camping, boating, swimming, fishing, working in the yard, and playing bridge, hearts and cribbage. He took lots of photos and home movies. He often told his kids to “quit lollygagging and do something constructive.” He loved a good deal, especially if it was a classic car, a house, or land. He was most happy when the eight JLH’s were all together. He had a great sense of humor, always spoke his mind, and had a signature wave.
Jim is survived by his wife, Janis and his six children – Joy (Tom) Elson of Nevada City, CA, Jay Harner, Jon Harner, and Jill (Jay) Turnquist of Two Harbors, MN, Jean (Bill) Block of Flagstaff, AZ, and Jennifer Harner of Duluth, MN. In addition, he is survived by his six grandchildren (Jason Turnquist, Jade Ochoa, Kim Pollock, Amy Lincoln, Cooper Block and Bryce Block), two great grandchildren (Kai Ochoa and Lillian Lincoln) and his brother William Harner of Titusville, FL.
Jim’s final resting place is at the Minnesota State Veteran’s Cemetery in Saginaw, MN.