Harley LeRoy Phares died Monday (Feb. 23, 2004) at the Great Plains Regional Medical Center in North Platte. He was 94 years old.
Harley was born Dec. 10, 1909, in Hayes County, to Reuben Leslie and Anna D. (Romersheuser) Phares. He graduated from Palisade High School in 1928. He attended the University of Colorado in Boulder and also attended Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Ind., earning a Radio Technician Certificate. He moved to Watertown, S.D., and worked as a DJ for a radio station for a short time. He returned to Palisade where he opened his own radio shop and sold and serviced radios.
On July 18, 1937, he married Dessa Frances Richter at her parents‚ home in Hayes County. To this union three daughters were born. They moved to Ogden, Utah where Harley was employed by the Civil Service for the Communications Defense Depot. They returned to the Palisade community in 1946 and settled on the family farm. He retired from farming in the mid 1980s. They remained on the farm until 1999, at which time they moved to Palisade. After his retirement, Harley continued to do some farming.
He was a member of the Palisade United Methodist Church for over 75 years. He was committed to his church serving on many boards, active head usher, and member of the Builders Class. He was also a member of the Rural Fire Board, having an instrumental part in getting the building for the present fire station; Hayes and Hitchcock Historical Society; Community Service Club; was an active community booster; Hitchcock County Election Board (Beverly Precinct); Tri-State Amateur Radio Club; and Farm Bureau, serving as an officer and state delegate. He loved to spend time with his ham radio, enjoying his yard and flowers, and attending all of his children and grandchildren's activities.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Reuben and Anna Phares; his brothers, Albert and Richard Phares; an infant sister; an infant granddaughter, JoLee Ann Schutte; and son-in-law, Bernie Schutte.
Survivors include his wife of 66 years, Dessa Phares; three daughters, DeAnna Schutte, Judy and husband, Gary Malone and Jenene and husband, Jerry Smith, all of Palisade; brother, Phil Phares and wife, Rita of Ogallala; aunt, Freida Romersheuser of Indianola; sister-in-law, Wilma Phares of Salem, Ore.; six grandchildren, Michael Schutte and wife, Leota of Seward, Michelle Schutte of Ravenna, Elizabeth and husband, Scott Susag of Scobey, Mont., Christyn and husband, Justin May of Duluth, Minn., Jeffrey Smith and wife, Julie of Chandler, Ariz., and Matthew Smith and wife, Jamie, of Mesa, Ariz.; seven great-grandchildren, Alex, Elisabeth and Ethan Schutte, Daniel, Shania and Tristyn McCormick and Samuel Smith; and numerous family and friends.
Funeral Service are Friday, 2 p.m., at the Palisade United Methodist Church with the Rev. Dr. Jeff Thurman and Rev. Michael Laing officiating. Burial will be in the Palisade Cemetery.
Visitation is today 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Thursday 9 a.m. until 8 p.m., at the funeral home.
Memorials may be given in his name.
Carpenter Breland Funeral Home of McCook is in charge of the arrangements.