G. William Harner died Sunday, August 26th.
Bill was born in Decatur, May 19, 1923, the son of Harry C. and Anna Miller Harner. Bill was a member of the “Greatest Generation.” In 1943, he enlisted in the US Army and transferred to US Army Air Corps for Meteorology training at the University of Wisconsin and University of Chicago. After receiving his commission he was assigned to Staff Officers School and then on to duty in the South Pacific. Following Japan’s surrender he was with the occupational forces in Tokyo. After his discharge, he became a life member of Air Force Association.
Bill graduated from Millikin University and married Jean “Fuzzy” Sutherd on January 17, 1947. They have 2 daughters, Cathy Harner and Carin (Jim) Grady, 2 granddaughters, Katie (Luke) Weatherford and Callie Grady, 4 granddogs and 1 great-granddog.
He was president of The Field & Shorb Company, retired in 1987 and was active in many Decatur area organizations. Bill served as a director of Fisher Stoune Company, Millikin National Bank, James Millikin Trust, Millikin Mortgage Company, Magna Bank, Union Planters Bank, Decatur Gun Club and the Country Club of Decatur. He was also a member of Decatur’s Regional Planning Commission and is a former president of the Decatur Park District Commissioners. Bill served as a director of both the Central Supply Association and the American Supply Association. He was a co-founder and officer of WIT & Co.
Bill, a long time supporter of Millikin University and was named emeritus trustee in 1996 after serving on the Millikin Board of Trustees since 1982. He was a Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity alumnus and received Millikin’s Merit-Loyalty Award in 1972. In 1997, Millikin named him Alumnus of the Year. Bill was exceptionally proud that both his granddaughters were the fourth generation of his family to graduate from Millikin.
Bill, affectionately known as Henry, was an avid outdoorsman, loved golf, boats and especially his dogs. Henry was a car enthusiast, particularly Corvettes. His favorite times were spent with family and friends, hunting or fishing, boating on the Intercoastal Waterway or visiting his home in Boca Grande, FL.
The family would like to express their gratitude to the staff at Fairhavens and Safe Haven Hospice. Their kindness has been overwhelming. A special thank you to Dr. Marlon Muneses for all your wonderful help and guidance.
Henry will be buried at sea, in front of the Boca Grande Club, aboard a Grand Banks and seated in a red Corvette, wearing khaki’s, a monogrammed Brooks Brother shirt, navy blazer and saddle shoes, holding a bottle of Gordon’s and a Purdy, as the Confederate Air Force performs a flyover in the missing man formation. Fourteen labs (each holding a duck or goose) and 5 German Shorthairs (each holding a pheasant or quail) will circle the boat during the ceremony. Look out Lord, here comes Henry and he’s bringing his toys! Thanks for the ride, Daddy — we love you.