Kenneth (Ken) Duane Harlan, age 88, of Richmond, Indiana, passed away peacefully June 27, 2021, at Reid Health surrounded by his loving family.

He was born November 13, 1932, in Winchester, Indiana, to John and Kathryn Harlan. Ken had an older sister, Phyllis, and Brenda was the youngest. He was an active youngster and played basketball and football while in high school. He graduated from Winchester High School in 1950. Upon his graduation, the family moved to Richmond. It was there that he met his future bride, Kathleen Wolf (now forever Kathy), at Central United Methodist Church. They were both active in the youth programs of the church.

Ken enlisted in the United States Navy in 1953 and he and Kathy were married the same year.  Kathy joined him in Norfolk, Virginia where he was stationed as a shipfitter and then served aboard the USS New Jersey. Ken was later assigned to the USS Roanoke until his discharge in 1956.

Ken re-joined Kathy in Richmond and he started his 44-year career with Porter Poster Service as a salesman, his CB radio handle was “the Signman”. His family enjoyed many evenings of “riding the lights”, where the family would drive around his entire sales territory ensuring that all lighted billboards were continually lit. Ken’s personality and his ability to engage in conversation with anyone, aided his success as a salesman.

Upon his return to Richmond, Ken and Kathy also started their family. They had three boys, Doug, Jeff, and Tom. Fatherhood suited him well, he went above and beyond making Halloween “Robot” costumes for the boys out of cardboard boxes spray painted silver with actual battery-operated lights. He also served as Cub Scout Pack Master at Westview School. Not only did he attend every sporting event his boys were in, but to their chagrin, he also attended practices.

Ken took his family on week-long camping excursions every summer, always filling every waking moment with an adventure. Once his boys grew up, Ken and Kathy continued to travel across the United States visiting family and friends, he loved to drive his cars.

He was an active member of Central United Methodist Church for over 50 years, singing in the choir with Kathy, ushering, serving as a trustee, and was a member of Methodist Men’s. Most recently he was a member of First English Lutheran Church. After his father’s passing, Ken took on the responsibility of saying the blessing at each family gathering, it was a “speaking from the heart” message of gratitude, faith, and the blessings of family togetherness. Ken was also a member of the Richmond Optimist Club and the Golden K Kiwanis Club of Richmond.

Survivors include his children, Doug (Chris Powell) Harlan/Chagrin Falls, Ohio, Jeff (Sandy) Harlan/Fort Wayne, Indiana and Tom (Linda) Harlan/San Antonio, Texas; seven grandchildren, Adam (Gertrud) Harlan, Elizabeth (Brent) Eager, Maria (Nick) Lesch, Sarah Harlan, Noah Harlan, Matthew Harlan, and John Harlan and eleven great-grandchildren, Maria Pia, Gregory, Bernadette, Zachery, Claire, William, Harrison, Everleigh, Emma, Therese and Xavier, his sisters; Phyllis Halstead/Hamilton, Ohio, Brenda (Gerry) Wenz/Rancho Sante Fe, California, and brother-in-law, Pat (Dianna)Wolf/Boynton Beach, Florida.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Kathleen (Kathy), and his parents, John and Kathryn.

Visitation and fellowship for Kenneth Duane Harlan will be Monday, July 12, 2021, from 10:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. at First English Lutheran Church, 2727 East Main Street, Richmond, IN 47374. The Columbarium Service of Committal will begin at 11:00 a.m. in the chapel.

Memorial Contributions may be made to First English Lutheran Church, 2727 East Main Street, Richmond, IN 47374.

Condolences may be sent to the family via the guest book at