Carl Eugene Harmon, age 96, passed away quietly with his family at his bedside at Laughlin Memorial Hospital Saturday, March 9, 2013.
Eugene was a well-known dairy farmer, having been raised on a 200 acre dairy farm in Greene County where the family specialized in registered Guernseys. He was a member of Kidwell School Basketball Team prior to entering Greeneville High School. In 1935, he graduated from Greeneville High School where he was a cast member of the Graduate School Play. After graduation, Eugene enrolled in the University of Tennessee, majoring in Dairying.
In October 1940, Eugene volunteered for the U.S. Army and received an honorable discharge in October 1945. A few days after returning from dodging "Buzz Bombs" for three years during World War II in Paris and London, Eugene proposed marriage to Kathryn "Dove" Colyer, the love of his life for five years. (She was Greeneville High School's first Homecoming Queen. ) They were married March 5, 1945 by Rev. Pat O'Neil at Reaves Memorial United Brethren Church in Greeneville. In the 1940's and 1950's, Eugene and Kathryn owned and operated Harmon's Dairy, a milk processing and bottling business. Eugene worked 80 hours a week and never missed a day of work. He sold the business in 1957. Eugene retired from 30 years of service with the U.S. Postal Service. He only missed one week of work due to a hernia surgery. For the past 17 years, Eugene has helped his son, Dr. David Eugene Harmon, in his Dr. Harmon Eye Clinic in Morristown. He worked six days a week and only missed one week of work because of a second hernia surgery.
At an early age, Eugene learned the value of hard work. While working at the Post Office, he also had a second job. He was partners with his brother-in-law, Lowell Hartman, in the construction business building houses. Eugene taught the value of hard work to his two children, Dr. Judy Harmon Barton and Dr. David Eugene Harmon. For a number of years, Eugene was a 4-H Club volunteer leader and he was responsible for both children achieving national recognition by attending national 4-H Congress in Chicago. He was an excellent instructor in preparing registered Guernsey cows for competition. He was the owner of a 2-time All American Guernsey, "Valentine," the highest honor given. Eugene attended Dairy Expos and International Dairy and Agriculture Expos in the United States, Toronto, Canada, and Paris, France. On March 5, 1985, Eugene and Kathryn celebrated their 40th anniversary in Paris, a gift from their children to show their appreciation for providing them with an excellent education. Eugene was a firm believer in a good education. In 2004, he graduated with his son from Crown Bible College.
Eugene taught both children how to play table tennis on a handmade table in the basement of his home, In 1969, his son, David, was awarded the Championship Trophy for Table Tennis at Greeneville High School. David was also Champion at the University of Tennessee, thanks to a great teacher, his dad.
Eugene helped construct the first dairy barns a the Greene County Fair and attended the fair every year since its beginning. He was awarded the first and the second Trophy from the fair for entering and winning the most exhibits. He was awarded a 50-year perfect attendance walnut plaque from the Crusader Sunday School Class of Trinity United Methodist Church, the only person who did not miss a week helping in the church Food Booth at the fair for 50 years. He was featured in the Greeneville Sun newspaper with two colored pages of photos and articles for his achievement.
Eugene was honored recently by having Hardin's Chapel United Methodist Church name the Children's playground in his honor for providing all playground equipment. In 1937, Eugene became a member of Hardin's Chapel Church and has remained a loyal supporter. He was also honored by the Baileyton church with a walnut wood plaque for a monetary contribution to help rebuild the church that burned. Eugene was known for his generosity of time and money to help worthy causes and needy people. When his elderly neighbor fell and broke her hip, Eugene brought her to his home to live for free. She remained in his home until she developed cancer and her 12 children put her in a nursing home.
Eugene's devotion to God was first, his family was second, and he always put himself last. He loved his family dearly and he always put his wife before anyone else. He was a devoted Christian and was proud of his two children, three grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.
Eugene was a life member of Kerbela Shriners in Knoxville, American Legion Post 64, and Greeneville V.F.W. Post 1990. He was also a member of Knoxville Scottish Rites and Greene County Scottish Rites. He was a 32nd Degree Mason and a member of Greene County Shrine Club.
Eugene was the son of Robert N. and Mollie Harmon who preceded him in death. Also preceding him in death were two brothers: Haynes Harmon and Woodrow Harmon; two sisters: Allene Hartman and Betty Brown; and brothers-in-law: Lowell Hartman, Jewel Hartman, Harry Verran, and Jack Walker. He is survived by three sisters: Fonda Hartman, Lavern Walker, and Mary Katherine Verran; and one sister-in-law: Sara Anna Harmon. He is survived by his wife of 68 years: Kathryn "Dove" Colyer Harmon; two very devoted children: daughter, Dr. Judy Harmon Barton of Everglades City, Florida and her husband, Donnie Barton, and son: Dr. David Eugene Harmon of Morristown. He is survived by three grandchildren and their spouses: Dr. Dona-Gene Barton, Dr. Dony and Kathryn Nell Barton Donev and Harmon David Barton and Leah Barton and their children: Alex and Alissa Barton of Cleveland, Tennessee. Eugene was preceded in death by two sisters-in-law: June Colyer Gray of Louisville, Kentucky, and Helen Colyer Collins of Greeneville. Eugene's special friends were Jackie Saulsbury, Virginia Klotz, O'Dell Greene, Steve Adkins, Klon Greene, Bob Austin, Clyde B. Austin, J.C. Watts, Edward and Tootsie Hope, Eddie Yokley, Mayor Allen Broyles, Tim Massey, Bob and Karen Gay, L.E. Cox, Don Gulley, Paul Shelton, Benford Justice, Leslie McCracken, Buddy Colyer, Dan McLean, Preacher Ralph and Bryle Benfield, Rev. Bobby Leonard, Evelyn Holley, Anna Lee George, Archie Morrison, Don Miles, J.R. Knittel, Dr. Lynn and Brian Smith, Carolyn Bullington, Tessie McCorkle, Virginia Britton family , Dr. U. M. Clemmer family, Marjorie Davenport, Jimmy and Betty Yates, Margaret Goddard, Jessie Fillers, Mae Burke, Lora Broyles, Roy Sizemore family, Marvin Jenkins, Mary Wills, Kyle Wills, Mrs. Kenneth McCoy, W.D. Bell, Fannye Jones, Mrs. Lucy Bright, Mrs. Joe Susong, Janice Potter, Curtis Coughan, Laquita McInturff, Dan and Linda Duggar, Gilda Blamay of South America, James Tipton St., Cpl Maurice Denney, J. Bernard Tidwell, Donnie Barton, Bruce Collins, John M. Jones Sr., and Eugene's father-in-law and mother-in-law: Maynard H. Nad Nellie Ruth Colyer, Nan Graham, Frank and Clifford Weigel, Dr. Leonard and Lowell Hartman, Dr. Luke Ellenburg, Preacher Collie Drummonds, and Nancy Cox Mitchell.
There will be a private funeral. There will be no visitation. Burial will be in Hardin's Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery with graveside service conducted by the Rev. Dr. Dony Donev, a Bulgarian missionary, Wade McAmis, and Dr. David Eugene Harmon. The Greene County Honor Guard and the Tennessee National Guard will conduct a military graveside service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hardin's Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery Fund.
Special thanks to Eugene's devoted physician, Dr. Brad Strange, and the excellent caring staff of Laughlin Memorial Hospital. Special gratitude is expressed to two special nurses, Pat Jeffers and Rebecca Smith for their superb compassion and expertise.
Kiser-Rose Hill Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.