Richard "Dick" HarbaughMay 30, 1923 ~ February 28, 2017 (age 93) 93 Years Old
Dick Harbaugh passed away on February 28, 2017, from a well used heart and a long, full life of 93 years. He was at peace in his home of over 50 years on State Street, surrounded by the love of his family.
Dick was born in 1923 in South Bend, Indiana, the son of Jay and Hazel Harbaugh. The Harbaugh family, which included one sister, Darlene, and three brothers, Frank, Bob and Jack, moved to Petoskey in 1925. All four sons served honorably in World War ll. All but one of Dick’s brothers, Frank, returned home safely from the war to their Gold Star Mother.
Dick enjoyed high school sports, and while he excelled in basketball, leading his team to a Regional Final victory in 1941, he often said he enjoyed track more. Even after graduating from Petoskey High School, his loyalty to Petoskey schools and the city remained a priority throughout his life.
Before his induction into the US Army, he married Marjorie Eppler and became a father to his beloved daughter Karol. He worked locally until his service in the Army began in 1943, stationed primarily in Belgium and France during WWll. Honorably discharged in 1946, Dick returned to Petoskey. Another casualty of the war was the marriage to his first wife. Dick then went on to Baker Business College in Flint under the GI Bill and received an accounting degree in 1947.
In 1948, Eleanor Breseman and Dick Harbaugh were married in Petoskey. Son Tom was born before they moved to Lansing in 1949 where Dick began a 35 year career with the Michigan Department of Treasury. Son Tim was born in Lansing just prior to Dick’s reassignment to Petoskey in 1953, where the family made their home.
Working for the Treasury Department as an auditor for the northern area of Michigan, Dick was well known for his assistance with both individual and business tax returns. Many friendships were built during his career in aiding local businesses with their tax issues and, through his desire of giving to his community, spent many hours yearly at the Friendship Center helping local residents file their returns.
With his sons Tom and Tim, backyard baseball and basketball practice were a staple, along with wiffle ball and Frisbee. Summer weekends in the late 50’s and early 60’s were spent casually fishing on Round Lake while listening to the Tigers on the radio.
Dick was one of the founding members of the Petoskey Little League chapter in 1956 and spent 20 years with that group in every capacity available, including coaching his sons. In addition, in the early 60’s he started and ran a winter Saturday morning basketball program for young kids in the old Central school gym. Many of that era’s finest players learned their skills on those cold Saturday mornings. During that time, Dick also began his 40 year association with Petoskey Softball. While helping to run local softball games and coaching Little League in the summer, he was an avid bowler in leagues all winter.
Retiring in 1984 from the Treasury Department, Dick enjoyed golfing with his family, as well as league golf at Springbrook Hills. He remained active in local softball and with his lifelong friend, Rex Marquardt, could be found at nearly every softball tournament all summer. The two friends were inducted into the Michigan Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame in 2001.
Dick served on the Petoskey Parks and Recreation Commission starting in 1974, spending nearly 20 years as the Commission’s Chairman. In that capacity he was proud of having a hand in many of the terrific amenities that local residents now enjoy, such as the reworked waterfront/marina, the Little Traverse Wheelway with its extension to East Park, the Bear River walkway, and the sports complex on River road.
In 2007 Dick was both humbled and honored to be inducted into the PHS Athletic Hall of Fame for his decades of service to the student athletes of Petoskey schools. It was one of his most cherished moments. He was a lifelong supporter of school athletics, believing that “well coached athletic programs build character and integrity in young people”… a Northman through and through.
In his later years, he & his wife resided at Independence Village in Petoskey. After his wife Eleanor’s passing, he continued living at the Village which allowed him to remain socially active. Dick and his family appreciated the many local residents who helped him to continue to stay involved in the community by escorting him to Petoskey sporting events and city meetings. Never giving up his love of sports, he learned a less mobile version of bowling & golf by mastering the Wi games of each with friends and family while living at Independence Village. An avid card player throughout his life, Dick loved the many hours of cribbage played with family. He cherished the holidays and visits back at his house when family gathered there, with the hope of returning to the home he loved.
Dick was preceded in death by his wife Eleanor and daughter Karol Schulte. He is survived by his family Tom (Gayle) Harbaugh and grandsons Aaron and Parker; Tim (Gwen) Harbaugh and grandson Michael and his wife Kara; son-in-law Rick Schulte, grand children Greg (Cindy) Schulte and Vicky (Scott) Wilson, along with great-grandchildren Joey, Alyssa and Kaylin Schulte, and Braden and Kyle Wilson.
Visitation will be at Stone Funeral Home Thursday, May 4th, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, and Friday morning, May 5th, at 10:00 am with a short memorial service at 11:00. Interment & Military salute will follow at Greenwood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, and to continue Dick’s legacy of giving to the City of Petoskey, the family suggests volunteering or donating to your choice of community programs, Petoskey School Athletics, Veterans affiliations, or Hospice of Little Traverse Bay.