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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, December 23, 2010

John G. Harlan

ALTAMONT — John Harlan grew a beard down to his belly and kept his compass pointed towards home.

He died on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010, from a Glioblastoma brain tumor. He was 61.

When he was just out of high school, Mr. Harlan took off for Florida, said his wife, Linda Harlan. She was still in her senior year and threw him a going-away party. She’d use “any excuse to get him to my parents’ house,” she said.

He came back two weeks later and she held a welcome-home party.

They each married other people before starting their 33-year marriage.

Mr. Harlan wanted their wedding to be simple and secret, said his wife. When they were camping with friends in Ausable Chasm, they bought $3 rings that turned their fingers green and called the justice of the peace from a payphone. She called her mother after they were wed — she hadn’t told a soul about their plans. “That’s probably the only secret I ever kept,” Mrs. Harlan said.

Mr. Harlan took two jobs so that she could stay home, she said. He had gone to the State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Morrisville and studied mechanics. He could fix anything. He worked for Harlan Manufacturing, Harts Plumbing, and Chuck Miles Indian Motorcycle shop.

He learned about mechanics, she said, “probably because he knew he’d never have a new car, so he’d always be working on it.” He ended up with a fleet of old Dodge trucks so he’d have the right part on hand when the truck that he got for $35 broke down. His yard was open to people who needed parts, Mrs. Harlan said, and he’d take payment after it was a sure thing that the fix would work.

As a kid, his father gave him a box of parts for an old Indian motorcycle, Mrs. Harlan said. From that, he made himself a motorcycle. “His father really didn’t think he’d get it together,” she said.

When they were married, he built a rat bike, Mrs. Harlan said. She doesn’t know what a rat bike is, exactly, “But I know one of my stainless steal pie plates is a guard,” she said.

Mr. Harlan’s fellow bikers called him “Wizard.” “I think that was because he could fix anything,” said his wife.

About 30 years ago, Mr. Harlan suffered from kidney failure and began dialysis in 1981. In 1983, there was a car accident not far from the couple’s home. A 14-year-old boy had gotten a ride home from school with his brother instead of taking the bus, Mrs. Harlan said. The boy died and Mr. Harlan got one of his kidneys. Mr. Harlan wanted to be an organ donor, his wife said, but couldn’t be because of the cancer treatments that he underwent.

“What always impressed me… he always went to church,” as a young man, Mrs. Harlan said. Not because of his mother, his wife, or his children, but because he “found peace in it,” she said.


Mr. Harlan is survived by his wife, Linda (née Ennis) Harlan; and his children, Stacy Sowalski and her husband, Mark, and Robert Harlan and his wife, Jessica Warner. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Jonathan Csontos, Ashley Weatherwax, Christopher Csontos, and John W. Harlan; and his sister, Anne Krajewski and her husband, Daniel; as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

His niece Michelle Corvinelli died before him as did his grandson Jess James Weatherwax and his parents, Robert and Jean Harlan.

A Mass of Christian burial was held at St. Lucy’s/St. Bernadette’s Roman Catholic Church in Altamont with arrangements by the Fredendall Funeral Home. A spring burial will be in the Esperance Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Brain Tumor Association at 2720 River Rd., Des Plaines, IL 60018.

Saranac Hale Spencer

Charles A. Mohr Sr.

DELANSON — Charles A. Mohr Sr., formerly of Altamont and New Baltimore, died peacefully at home on Friday Dec. 17, 2010. He was 88.

Born on April 11, 1922 in Brooklyn, N.Y., he was the son of the late Anthony and Anna Mohr.

He is survived by four children, Charles A. Mohr Jr., Dennis R. Mohr, David F. Mohr, and Donna L. Mohr; 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. His first wife, Marie A. Mohr, and his second wife Shirley Hockenbury, died before him as did his daughter, Patricia A. Mohr, and his grandson, Anthony C. Mohr.

A funeral service was held on Monday, Dec. 20, at the Fredendall Funeral Home, in Altamont followed by an interment in Fairview Cemetery.

Fred Ward

WESTERLO — The co-owner of a construction company, Fred Ward was also a National Guardsman, a school-bus driver, and a volunteer fireman.

He died in his Westerlo home on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010, having lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 80.

He was born on Feb. 16, 1930, the son of the late Lewis and Hattie (Robbin) Ward.

He served in the New York State National Guard. He and his twin brother, George Ward — operated Ward Construction, doing roofing and siding for many years in the Clarksville and Westerlo area. He was also a school-bus driver for the Bethlehem School District and a former member of the Clarksville Volunteer Fire Company.

He loved hunting and fishing and spending winters in Florida, his family wrote in a tribute.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 60 years, Elsie (Hatcher) Ward of Westerlo; his twin brother, George Ward and his wife, Geraldine; and nieces and nephews, Tammy Frodyma and her husband, Mark, Scott Benway and his wife, Lisa, George Ward and his wife, Darlene, Sharon Seney and her husband, Paul, Sheila Tryon and her husband, Mark; and Geoffrey Ward.

His brother, Edmund Ward, died before him.

According to his wishes, he was cremated and interment will be in the spring in the Onesquethaw Cemetery.

The family wishes to thank Hospice and the many friends who helped in the family’s time of need. Memorial contributions may be made to Community Hospice of Albany, 445 New Karner Road, Albany, NY 12205.

Arrangements are by the A.J. Cunningham Funeral Home in Greenville. Light a candle at: ajcunninghamfh.com.

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