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Published December 08, 2013, 12:00 AM

Brig. Gen. (ret.) John R. Harty

Brig. Gen. (ret.) John R. Harty completed his journey on earth on Wednesday morning, December 4, 2013 and has been promoted to the promise of life everlasting. His life was one of integrity, love of God, of country, and of family. A born leader, he combined his fine abilities with a personal touch and a keen sense of humor.

Gen. Harty was born in Grand Forks, N.D. on June 25, 1938 and graduated from Grand Forks Central High School in 1956. He received his BS in Civil Engineering from the University of North Dakota, was commissioned as a distinguished military graduate from ROTC to 2 nd Lt in the USAF, and was married all on the same day, August 6, 1960. He never forgot an anniversary.

Brig. Gen. (ret.) John R. Harty

Brig. Gen. (ret.) John R. Harty completed his journey on earth on Wednesday morning, December 4, 2013 and has been promoted to the promise of life everlasting. His life was one of integrity, love of God, of country, and of family. A born leader, he combined his fine abilities with a personal touch and a keen sense of humor.

Gen. Harty was born in Grand Forks, N.D. on June 25, 1938 and graduated from Grand Forks Central High School in 1956. He received his BS in Civil Engineering from the University of North Dakota, was commissioned as a distinguished military graduate from ROTC to 2 nd Lt in the USAF, and was married all on the same day, August 6, 1960. He never forgot an anniversary.

He received his MS in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois and was later reassigned to the University to obtain his PhD in Civil Engineering.

During his thirty-one years of active duty, Gen. Harty served in numerous engineering capacities: Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio; Kotzebue AF Site, Alaska; USAF Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.; Republic of Vietnam; Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va.; Tyndall AFB, Panama City, Fla.; Myrtle Beach AFB, S. Car.; Air War College, Montgomery, Ala.; Scott AFB, Ill.; Israel Air Base Program, Camp David Accord, Tel Aviv, Israel; a second tour at Scott AFB, Ill.; followed by a five-year tour at Headquarters USAFE, Ramstein, Germany.

Upon retirement from his position as USAFE Civil Engineer, Europe in 1991, Gen. Harty returned to O’Fallon, Ill., and became deputy director of the MidAmerica Airport Program. He later became director of the Lambert Airport runway project, serving as a vice president of Parsons Aviation. In 2012, he was invested into the Society of Military Engineers Academy of Fellows.

His decorations include the Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster and the Air Force Commendation Medal.

Gen. Harty served in many leadership roles in all of the Lutheran churches he and his family attended. He loved singing in the choirs everywhere the AF assigned him, and his keen sense of humor was an integral part of all choir rehearsals. He was a master at Stewardship Skits, Mardi Gras happenings and any other place he could conjure up mischief.

He was loved.

He was preceded in death by his father and mother, Jack and Marion, nee Nelson, Harty; and his brother, Michael J. Harty.

Surviving are his wife Marcia, nee Osborne, Harty of O’Fallon; son John Stewart Harty and his wife Tammy, and their son John Oscar “Jack” Harty of O’Fallon; daughter Kristin Harty Barkley and her husband Brad of Frostburg, Md.; his sister Mary Lynn (Roger) Johnson of Moorhead, Minn.; sister-in-law and brother-in-law Jaye and Calvin Reistad of O’Fallon; nephews Kenneth, Greg, and Tim Johnson, Dr. Chet Reistad and Grant Reistad, Mike Harty, niece Meaghan Harty, and aunt Yvonne Anman, as well as many cousins. Also surviving are his beloved Shih Tzus Chester Chu and Peanuts.

In lieu of flowers and other gifts, the family requests memorial donations be given to Faith Lutheran Church Outreach or Music Programs, 520 E. Highway 50, O’Fallon, IL 62269, or to Hospice of Southern Illinois, to whom the family is truly grateful.

Visitation: The family will receive friends from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m., Saturday, December 14, 2013 at Faith Lutheran Church, O’Fallon.

Funeral: A Celebration of Life Service, to include military honors, will begin at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, December 14, 2013 at Faith Lutheran Church, O’Fallon, with Pastors Robert Downs and Freda Snyder officiating.

Interment will be private at a later date at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis County, Mo.

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