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David Edward Harmer
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Obituary for David Edward Harmer

David Edward Harmer, age 88, of Lenoir City, passed away on November 15, 2017. Dave was born on April 8, 1929 to George Ernest Harmer and Gertrude May Osborn Harmer. He was preceded in death by his parents and his daughter, Shelley Lynn Harmer. Dave is survived by his wife of 60 years, Janice Gockel Harmer; son David Mark Harmer; granddaughter, Jana; 2 great-grandsons; and his brother, Donald Celam Harmer. He graduated from South High School in Grand Rapids where he was awarded medals in both chemistry and photography. He graduated from Albion College in Michigan Magna Cum Laude with Honors in Chemistry and was a Phi Beta Kappa Honorary. Dave earned his Masters and PhD from the University of Michigan with a specialization in Organic Radiation Chemistry. He participated in many activities and held several offices during his school years, including photography, crew manager of stage lighting for drama and concerts, President of both Theta Alpha Phi and the Midland Chapter of Sigma Xi, member of Kappa Mu Epsilon and Omicron Delta Kappa, and was recognized by election to Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honorary. During graduate school he served as president and treasurer of the local chapter of Alpha Chi Sigma, the professional fraternity for chemistry and chemical engineering, as well as secretary for Phi Lambda Epsilon, the national chemistry honorary. Dr. Harmer began his lifelong science and engineering career with many years in the Dow Chemical Company in its Midland, Michigan technical center. During this time, he performed and led research in the fields of organic synthesis, radiation chemistry, and polymer chemistry. Growing out of this work was a new field of cleaning and environmental services for the nuclear power industry. He co-founded a new department at Dow dedicated to carry out this new technology. As a growing field, this business group was purchased by the IT Corporation of California. A new office was opened in Midland, Michigan, which in time was combined with the company technical center in Knoxville, Tennessee. Dr. Harmer served as General Manager of Nuclear Services in this period. During this time eight US patents and over 50 technical papers were published and several industry-wide and company-internal awards were received. A significant event was his appointment to the AEC Advisory Committee on Radiation and Isotopes. This government sponsored committee served in a technical advisory function as well as a watch dog for related activities carried out under programs of the Atomic Energy Commission. Dr. Harmer was Chairman of the Subcommittee on Radiation Processing. In 1995, Dr. Harmer formed a private consulting business, DH Technical Associates in Knoxville. It provided participative consulting for organizations needing experience in the technical fields discussed above. Dr. Harmer was active with the Midland Chapter of Michigan Association for Children with Learning Disabilities, serving as President at one time. He loved water sports, including sailing and water skiing and was strongly engaged in the sport of snow skiing. Music was also a big interest. He was lead clarinet in high school and college, sung in various choirs and choruses and played the piano, organ, and accordion. He was a member of First UMC of Midland, serving as Finance Committee Chairman, and was a member of Church Street UMC in Knoxville, serving as Chairman of the History Committee. A service to celebrate the life of Dave will be held at 2:30pm on Tuesday, November 28 at Church Street United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Church Street UMC Music Ministry. Click Funeral Home Farragut Chapel 11915 Kingston Pike is serving the Harmer family. www.clickfh.com


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Previous Events

Service

Tuesday

28

Nov

2:30 PM
Church Street United Methodist Church

900 Henley Street
Knoxville, Tennessee 37902

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