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Donald Lee Harker Obituary

Brought to you by Darling & Fischer Chapel of the Hills

Donald Lee Harker

Los Gatos, California

August 3, 1929 - July 27, 2022

Donald Lee Harker Obituary

 

Donald Lee Harker passed away of natural causes after a brief illness. He was surrounded by family at the end and died peacefully. His life of dedication to community and family was an inspiration.

Donald was born in Buffalo, NY. His family moved to Virginia and he spent his early years in and around Lynchburg. He was drafted into the army during the Korean Conflict. During his time in military service, he trained as a sharpshooter and won several competitions. He was assigned to an army intelligence unit and served as a Corporal in that capacity until his honorable discharge in 1956.

He met and married Jane Ella Estrem at First Baptist Church in San Jose, CA. His grandfather Joseph Harker performed the ceremony in 1951. Donald and Jane lived happily in the San Jose area the rest of their lives, most of it in their home in Los Gatos. Faith was important to Donald and Jane, and they raised their family in the church. They were some of the early donors to the construction of what today is the main building of Calvary Church. Jane passed away from cancer in 1998 and Donald never remarried.

Donald enjoyed a long career at FMC Corporation in Santa Clara. He started as a timekeeper in the shop and moved up into management over the course of 35 years. Most of his work involved data processing with punch cards, as well as leading an initiative to move toward key-to-disk, an early form of modern computing. Donald retired from FMC in his late fifties and had a long, rewarding retirement filled with travel, photography and photo framing which was his passion for many years.

Donald and his family loved the outdoors, camping and hiking, backpacking and especially fishing which he did with his son Jeffrey often. The Harker family camped in many national parks, especially Yosemite which he loved. He enjoyed photo trips to the Gold Country and Death Valley as well.

Throughout his life Donald travelled extensively in Europe and other parts of the world. Over the course of his travels he visited over 35 countries and many locations in the US. He twice flew to Romania to assist with building projects for Caminul Felix Orphanage.

In 2014 Donald moved to Merrill Gardens in Campbell, CA. He lived happily there and had many friends. In 2022 he relocated briefly to Tucson, AZ to be closer to family. Unfortunately, his time in Tucson was cut short by illness.

Donald is survived by his son Jeffrey Harker and daughter-in-law Laurel of Tucson, AZ. In lieu of flowers the family asks that contributions be made to Calvary Church in Los Gatos.

 

To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Donald Lee Harker hosted by Darling & Fischer Chapel of the Hills.

 

Donald Lee Harker passed away of natural causes after a brief illness. He was surrounded by family at the end and died peacefully. His life of dedication to community and family was an inspiration.

Donald was born in Buffalo, NY. His family moved to Virginia and he spent his early years in and around Lynchburg. He was drafted into the army during the Korean Conflict. During his time in military service, he trained as a sharpshooter and won several competitions. He was assigned to an army intelligence unit and served as a Corporal in that capacity until his honorable discharge in 1956.

He met and married Jane Ella Estrem at First Baptist Church in San Jose, CA. His grandfather Joseph Harker performed the ceremony in 1951. Donald and Jane lived happily in the San Jose area the rest of their lives, most of it in their home in Los Gatos. Faith was important to Donald and Jane, and they raised their family in the church. They were some of the early donors to the construction of what today is the main building of Calvary Church. Jane passed away from cancer in 1998 and Donald never remarried.

Donald enjoyed a long career at FMC Corporation in Santa Clara. He started as a timekeeper in the shop and moved up into management over the course of 35 years. Most of his work involved data processing with punch cards, as well as leading an initiative to move toward key-to-disk, an early form of modern computing. Donald retired from FMC in his late fifties and had a long, rewarding retirement filled with travel, photography and photo framing which was his passion for many years.

Donald and his family loved the outdoors, camping and hiking, backpacking and especially fishing which he did with his son Jeffrey often. The Harker family camped in many national parks, especially Yosemite which he loved. He enjoyed photo trips to the Gold Country and Death Valley as well.

Throughout his life Donald travelled extensively in Europe and other parts of the world. Over the course of his travels he visited over 35 countries and many locations in the US. He twice flew to Romania to assist with building projects for Caminul Felix Orphanage.

In 2014 Donald moved to Merrill Gardens in Campbell, CA. He lived happily there and had many friends. In 2022 he relocated briefly to Tucson, AZ to be closer to family. Unfortunately, his time in Tucson was cut short by illness.

Donald is survived by his son Jeffrey Harker and daughter-in-law Laurel of Tucson, AZ. In lieu of flowers the family asks that contributions be made to Calvary Church in Los Gatos.

 

To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Donald Lee Harker hosted by Darling & Fischer Chapel of the Hills.

Events

Event information can be found on the Official Obituary of Donald Lee Harker.