Harlan Eugene Thompson (known as Harnie or Harn by a number of childhood friends and family), of Cedar Park, Texas, passed away on Sept. 18 at the age of 76. He was born on May 10, 1945 in Aberdeen, Washington, to Lois Irwin, and was raised by the man he called dad, Marshall Thompson.
Harlan fell out of a very tall tree at the age of 12 while playing “tree top tag” with his three buddies and broke his back. Less than a month later, he fell out of a cherry tree, landing on a picket fence with his chin, leading to numerous stitches, a lovely lifelong scar and a very angry mother.
He graduated from Moclips High School on the Washington coast in 1963. Dad had perfect attendance throughout high school. Do keep in mind that leaving school for clam digging was authorized. Harlan also participated in a number of extracurricular activities, including student government, four years of football and one year of boxing. He made a number of wonderful, and at times, painful memories with his lifelong buddies Jim Westby, Rod Parker and Louis Stewart.
Harlan attended Grays Harbor Community College and worked at Harbor Wholesale and Pay ‘n Save (Aberdeen) until he joined the Navy in 1967. Unbeknownst to Harlan, he was prone to seasickness and returned from his tour a good 50 pounds lighter than when he left.
Throughout his career, Harlan enjoyed many sales positions in various industries in the Centralia and Stayton, Oregon areas and while managing his first Safeway (Aberdeen, Washington), his store received commendation for highest sales per square foot on the west coast. One of Harlan’s lifelong dreams was to own and operate his own store and in June 1986, that became a reality when Harlan and Charlotte purchased Mary’s Corner Market, which they owned and operated for 10 years.
Harlan was also very active with Kiwanis, Pope’s Place, the Rotary, Centralia City Council (2008-2011), and served as the mayor of Centralia (2010-2011) and on the Riverside Fire Authority (2008-2019). While serving as a commissioner with the RFA, he was always the first to volunteer at the firehouse at the Southwest Washington Fair and many other activities in which the RFA was involved.
Over the years, Harlan played on a men’s softball team, basketball with guys from the Washington State Patrol, played tennis and enjoyed swimming laps at the community pool in Centralia.
He won a car and was very proud of the fast as lightning Ford Festiva, which was driven for thousands of miles before being put out to pasture.
Harlan loved to fish and you could find him on lakes and rivers all over western Washington, including the Cowlitz, Toutle and Humptulips rivers, as well as on Lake Mayfield and Riffe Lake.
Harlan and Charlotte were members of Jackson Prairie Church until moving to Centralia in 2003, where they created close bonds with their church family at Calvary Chapel of Centralia. Harlan and Charlotte moved to Cedar Park, Texas, in 2019 with their shih tzu Mitzi to enjoy the Texas sunshine in their sunset years. While there they became fast friends with their beloved community at Calvary Chapel Leander.
Harlan is survived by his loving wife of 55 years Charlotte and four children Marshall (Toni) of Cedar Park, Texas, Amy (Scott) of Troutdale, Oregon, Nate (Denise) of Napavine, Washington, and Andrew of Cedar Park, Texas. In addition to his wife and children, Harlan is survived by his sister Eileen Owens of Napavine, Washington; brother Gary Thompson of Sacramento, California; nine grandchildren Brittani, Ryan, Cam, Cameron, Tyler, Kaytlyn, Madelynn, Hayden and Logan; plus four great-grandchildren. A number of cousins, nieces, nephews and friends will also miss him dearly.
A celebration of life will be held at Calvary Chapel in Centralia, Washington on Saturday Oct. 2, 2021 at 2 p.m.