Our beloved father, husband, and family patriarch, Robert Bartlett Harmon, passed away on May 19, 2017 at the age of 84.
Bob was born in the small railroad town of Helper, Utah on November 29, 1932, the fifth child and second son of John Harold Harmon and Winnie Ethlynn Bartlett Harmon.Bob’s mother passed away when Bob was only two years old and he was raised by his father through his childhood years. Shortly after his fifth birthday in 1937, he suffered a severe burn on his left leg and underwent years of medical treatment at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, where he attended elementary school and was baptized in the Tabernacle on Temple Square. The burn never fully healed and eventually necessitated the amputation of his leg in his teen years. Bob never let the challenges of his youth hinder him in life. His courage and effort in overcoming those challenges has been an example and source of inspiration for his family.
Bob attended Brigham Young University where he obtained a BA degree in Political Science in 1958 and an MA in 1960. While studying in the library at BYU, Bob met a pretty librarian named Merlynn Swensen and they fell in love and were married in the Los Angeles Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on August 18, 1961. Bob completed a Master of Library Science degree from Rutgers University and upon graduation in 1962 was offered a job at San Jose State College, now San Jose State University, where he served in multiple positions, mostly as a Reference Librarian, for over forty years before retiring in May, 2003. Bob had a passion for learning and knowledge, including a research focus on the works of John Steinbeck and studies in LDS church history and doctrine, and maintained an extensive personal library.
Bob and Merlynn raised five children in San Jose and Bob was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints all his life, serving in a wide variety of church callings. Bob is survived by his wife, Merlynn Swenson Harmon, sister Sue Harmon, son Marriner John Harmon, daughter Jane Anne (Kent) Bates, son David Wright (Jaime) Harmon, son James Bartlett Harmon, daughter Nancy Louise (Brian) Watson, 18 grandchildren, and 7 great-grandchildren.
His grave will be dedicated at 12:00pm on Saturday, June 10,2017 at City View Cemetery, 390 Hoyt St. Salem, OR directly followed by a Memorial Service at Johnson Funeral Home, 134 Missouri Avenue, Salem, OR. In lieu of flowers, and to honor Bob’s passion for and dedication to education, the family suggest donations be made to the Perpetual Education Fund of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at www.ldsphilanthropies.org.