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Harlan's Story

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Harlan D. Beer, 93, of Nappanee, died at 3:54 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, at Elkhart General Hospital after a short illness. He was born Aug. 29, 1924, at their family home in Milford, to Otto Sr. and Barbara (Graff) Beer.
Harlan was a lifetime area resident. He graduated from Milford High School. He farmed for a short time, then started a blacksmith shop and, in 1950, started Gravelton Machine Shop.
In 1957, he and R.E. Slabaugh formed Beer & Slabaugh. After Slabaugh's death in 1967, he became sole owner and was still very much involved in the business every day. Harlan loved his kids and grandchildren. He was an old-fashioned leader he led by example and hard work. He was a "giver" and was very community minded, and contributed to and promoted many community projects, but never wanted to take the credit for what he had done.
The Beer family has been instrumental in many developments in Nappanee. Harlan, along with Short McCormick and Walter Lawmaster, helped in the development of the Nappanee Airport. He and McCormick helped with the start of the Nappanee Golf Course and McCormick Creek housing. The Beer family was also responsible for the Heritage House Senior Living Center and development of Heritage Farms. Harlan attended Living Gospel Church in Nappanee. He enjoyed and attended auctions locally, statewide and all over the country.
Surviving are his children, Tyrann Beer, Nappanee, Barney (Natalie) Beer, Goshen, Rodney (Kathy) Beer, Syracuse, Tracy (Dee) Beer, Nappanee; grandchildren, Scott (Alex) Beer, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Brooks (Kip) Goebel, Phoenix, Arizona, Ryan (Erin) Beer, Nappanee, Kevin (Laurie) Beer, Milford, Matthew (Alyssa) Beer, Syracuse, Jason (Whitney) Beer, Milford, and Travis (Julie) Beer, Nappanee; step-granddaughters, Anna Kitson, Seattle, Washington, and Katherine Kitson, Washington, D.C.; 10 great-grandchildren; Phyllis (Blosser) Beer, Nappanee, his wife of many years; sisters, Lorene Mikel and Evelyn Beer, both of Nappanee, and Barbara Myers, Goshen; and a brother, William (Evelyn) Beer, New Paris.
He was preceded in death by a great-granddaughter, Hope Beer; and brothers, Harold, Eldon, Otto Jr. and Lawrence Beer.
Family and friends may call from 2 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, at Nappanee Missionary Church Chapel and for 1 hour prior to the funeral service, Friday, Dec. 8, at 10:30 a.m. also at Nappanee Missionary Church.
The Rev. David Soliday, Living Gospel Church and Pastor Dave Engbrecht, Nappanee Missionary Church will officiate. Burial will be in Milford Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be given to Nappanee Open Door or Family Christian Development Center.
Arrangements are with Thompson-Lengacher & Yoder Funeral Home, Nappanee.
Published on December 3, 2017
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