Ocean Beach 11

David Harshbarger

March 21, 1932 ~ March 22, 2022 (age 90)


David Harshbarger was born on March 21, 1932, in Philo, Illinois, the youngest of five children born to Howard and Mary Harshbarger. David attended a one-room schoolhouse for the first few years before the family moved to town, where he attended Leal Elementary and Urbana High School. At Urbana High, he met and started dating the love of his life, Isabel (Izzy) Brown. After high school, David worked at the family farm implement store before enlisting in the Navy in January of 1952. After basic training and electronics school, David was stationed in the Washington, DC area, where he and Izzy lived after they were married on August 8, 1953. His Navy travels doing reconnaissance aboard the Lockheed EC-121 Warning Star Constellation aircraft took him to such exotic places as Italy and Morocco. After being discharged, David studied electrical engineering at the University of Illinois. He joined a consulting engineering firm around the same time that he and Izzy welcomed their first son, Bob. Carl followed three years later, born on David’s 28th birthday and ushering in a lifelong love of shared celebrations. Carol’s arrival completed the family in 1965. Over the years, David worked as a drafter, designer, and engineering specialist for an engineering consulting firm, a developer, and various contractors and was a partner in an electrical consulting firm before establishing his own business doing lighting design. He enjoyed work greatly, and was involved in many projects in town. He started with smaller projects, such as lighting a glass-enclosed stairway for a school of agriculture building to the entire electrical design for the Century 21 building, and many others. On vacations, David would seek out venues with exceptional lighting design which he read about in his trade magazines. These included restaurants in San Francisco and the Palisades restaurant in Seattle, WA. He enjoyed his work greatly and didn’t retire fully until he was well into his 80s. David was a dedicated family man, home for dinner whenever he wasn’t working on a project out of town. Lifelong Urbana residents except the two years in Washington DC, David and Izzy were also faithful to help the family stay connected with cousins, aunts, and uncles although they were scattered from one coast to the other and all states in between. He was a Scout leader and supported the kids in all their activities, including sports endeavors and the drama group at church. After the kids left home, he was always willing to visit to lend any support such as painting, packing, moving, or home repairs. David is fondly remembered for his storytelling, his talkativeness, his devotion to Ford Co. (and keeping them immaculate!), his love of red wine, and his memory of every dinner he ate on every road trip. David loved dogs and was loved in return. A recent highlight was a visit to Hawaii where he saw the marker for his brother Howard, who was shot down over the China Sea in World War II. David is preceded in death by his parents, Howard (Poppy) and Mary (“Mimi”) Harshbarger, brothers Bob, Howard, and Dale, and sister Jeanne (Brenneman), his wife Isabel, and daughter-in-law Vickie (Dodds). He is survived by all three children, Bob (Jeanne), Carl, and Carol (Sampson – Herb), as well as five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

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