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Harmes, William Robert

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May 3, 1934 - December 31, 2018

Harmes, William Robert

William Robert Harms passed away on Monday, December 31, 2018 at at the age of 84.  He was born May 3, 1934.

Flying was a form of music and the song was one he was born too sing. He adored planes for their raw power and pure excitement. Born to Elizabeth and John Harms in Brooklyn NY, he was the youngest of 3 boys. Attending Brooklyn Poly Tech and Hofstra University would launch his 25 year adventure in the US Air Force. Marrying the love of his life on August 14, upon completing flight training, he would spend the next 63 years with Catherine, until her death in 2017. The military would be his career, and he would be awarded honors for his bravery, commitment, and heroic acts in times of war and peace. He would have 2 children, Karen and John, and travel the world with his family. He would fly B-52’s, C-130’s, and fighters in Vietnam; awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery, among other awards. His children would marry and he would have 7 grandchildren. He would be proud of their many accomplishments. Upon retirement, he would complete his Master’s Degree and find a love of teaching, specifically flying, to those who followed his passion. He would be loved. He would always be there for Catherine, the love of his life, his family, and his friends. He would fight to the end, winning battle after battle for the last 8 months of his life. Lymphoma would eventually win the war, taking him home to be with his bride on New Year’s Eve. They had a date to go dancing!

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Jeff Melcher

January 08, 2019 9:21PM

Bill was a great friend and extraordinary man. One of the smartest people I have ever known, Bill was my flight instrument flight instructor. He always wanted his students to more than to just pass a test, but to know the aircraft and systems inside and out. Being an engineer myself, I appreciated all of this knowledge. I can still hear his voice continually coaching me as I fly. He left a lasting impact on so many people and will be greatly missed.

Kim Barnes

January 08, 2019 12:20PM

We are very sad to hear of Bill's passing here at Aviation Seminars. Bill was one of our top instructors who was greatly admired and appreciated by his students and other instructors like myself who had the privilege to work with him. Godspeed Bill. You will be missed. Kim Barnes, Chief Flight Instructor, Aviation Seminars, San Diego, CA.