Earl Harmon, 75

Wednesday, June 8, 2005

Earl L. Harmon, 75, of Boise, formerly of Glenns Ferry and Hammett, died peacefully at home in the arms of his wife on June 3, 2005, following a battle with cancer.

Funeral services will be held Thursday June 9, at noon at the Meridian Idaho Stake Center on Ustick at Duane Road (between Cloverdale and Eagle Roads). Interment will follow at Dry Creek Cemetery.

Friends may call to visit with the family today, Wednesday, June 8, from 6-8 p.m. at Relyea Funeral Chapel, 318 N. Latah, in Boise, and at the Stake Center prior to the service on Thursday from 11-11:45 a.m.

Earl was born on Sept 28, 1929, the fifth of six children of Parley Allen and Eva Mae (Tucker) Harmon in Glenns Ferry, where he grew up and graduated from Glenns Ferry High School.

Earl married Eleanor Louise Huffaker on Nov. 25, 1949, in Wendell, Idaho. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Idaho Falls Temple.

They moved to Hammett where they operated the town grocery store/service station/bus stop from 1949 until 1962. While they lived in Hammett, their five daughters and two sons were born.

In 1957 Earl and Eleanor founded Harmon Travel Service, and launched their first motorcoach tour in February 1958, traveling to California and Arizona.

They moved their family to Boise in 1962 where Earl managed the Trailways bus depot for one year. He also became involved in insurance and real estate development. By 1968, the travel business demanded his full-time attention.

Earl was elected to the National Tour Association's board of directors in 1975. By 1979 he was the Association President during which time he was appointed Vice-Chairman of the Advisory Committee to the U.S. Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus and the U.S. Senate Tourism Caucus. He continued lobbying in Washington, D.C., for tourism legislation until 1983.

In 1986 Earl was appointed to the Department of the Interior's Advisory Board for the National Parks where he was chairman of tourism and marketing. He served on the national committee for the Christopher Columbus Quincentennial in 1992. He also served as director of the Travel Industry Association of America, Vice President of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the American Society of Travel Agents, and on the committee for the building of the Interpretive Center at Three Island Crossing in Glenns Ferry.

Earl loved The Boy Scouts of America and had held all of the volunteer positions available in Boy Scouts, from Scoutmaster to council commissioner of the Ore-Ida Council. He received the Silver Beaver, the highest volunteer award on the council level, and proudly presented the Eagle Scout award to ten of his grandsons. At the time of his death Earl was making arrangements for 1,200 Boy Scouts to tour the Historic East Coast in route to the National Boy Scout Jamboree in Virginia.

Earl was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served in many callings, including Seminary teacher, Stake Young Men's President, and Counselor in the Bishopric. His most recent position was, appropriately, Scout Committee Chairman of his local troop.

Earl loved to fish for salmon in Alaska. He spent several summers on his boat, The Lady E, hosting family and friends to fish for the "catch of their lives." His fish stories were only surpassed by the steak and fish fries he hosted for family and friends from around the world.

Earl is survived by: Eleanor, his wife of 55 years; their 7 children, Barbara (Frank) Youngstrom of Meridian, Marge (Joe) Litster of Boise, Bonnie (George) Knapp of Camarillo, Calif., Maxine (Dallan) Clarke of Evanston, Wyo., David (Susan) Harmon of Boise, Robert (Sheila) Harmon of Eagle, Connie (Jeff) Dalling of Meridian; 22 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren; two brothers, Harold (Donna) Harmon of Long Beach, Wash., Dick (Orvetta) Harmon of Pocatello; and one sister, Velma Thompson of Pocatello.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Margaret Lula Bernt, his brother, Allen Dudley Harmon, and two brothers-in-law, Lowell Thompson and Leonard Bernt.

Memorial contributions may be made to a local Boy Scout troop.