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Virgil John Harms
May 4, 1927 ~ January 22, 2024 (age 96) 96 Years Old
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Virgil John Harms was born into his family home in rural Paoli, Colorado on May 4, 1927. He was the first child of John and Irene Harms. He grew up on a small farm north of Paoli and attended Country Elementary School. He graduated from Haxtun High School in 1945. It was there that he met his forever sweetheart Eloise Lundburg.
After graduation, Virgil joined the Army and began his basic training in Fort Lewis, Washington. Virgil loved to tell stories including those of long military marches and his catching of fellow soldiers as they passed out while receiving their vaccinations. During his first leave from military duty, Virgil returned to Paoli and married Eloise Lundburg on August 15th, 1946, at the Covenant Fairfield Church. The newlyweds then made the long trip back to Washington where Virgil was later discharged as World War 2 came to an end.
Virgil and Eloise returned to Paoli where they eventually purchased their first and only home, living there for over seventy years. They began farming, and raised sheep, chickens, and hogs. Together, Virgil and Eloise were active members of the Paoli Methodist Church and later, members of the Haxtun Methodist Church.
Ever active and well known in his community, Virgil was a member of the Paoli Elevator Board as well as the Lions Club. In 1961 he became the Mayor of Paoli. A role that made him quite famous for his over 50 years of service. He was interviewed by the Denver Post and the L.A. News, and his story was televised on Channel 9 as well as CBS Good Morning America. He was again honored in Sept of 2019 as Grand Marshall in the Haxtun Corn Festival Parade. Virgil retired just last year after 62 years in office and was known as the politician who disliked politics.
Virgil and Eloise knew how to have fun too. They began square dancing with a local group and spent many enjoyable hours dancing with friends, traveling to other towns and states, and even went on a Mexican Cruise, where they dance aboard. They enjoyed traveling and made many trips to the southern states, often picking up flatbed trailers in Oklahoma to sell in Paoli, a business, simply known as Harms Trailers.
Virgil was a man of many talents, often found on ladders or in tractors well into his 90’s. He had a great ability to repair motors. He often built and designed farm equipment to meet the ever-changing agriculture needs on his farm. And every vehicle Virgil owned had a bigger engine and a louder exhaust system. His love of mechanics was shared by his sons and grandsons and many hours were spent together in his “shop”. Those who knew Virgil often were caught in a gift of gab, as he visited with nearly anybody telling stories, tales, and reminiscing.
Virgil passed away January 22, 2024, at the Regent Park Nursing Home in Holyoke at 96 years of age. He was preceded in death by his parents John and Irene, his son Allen Ray Harms, brothers Kenneth, Orville and Dennis Harms, his sister Janet Davis, son in law Vern Alberts, sister-in-law Bonnie Harms, and his brother in laws Jim Davis, Tom Davis and Dewey Green
Survivors include his wife of 78 years, Eloise, sisters Theresa Davis Grogan of Haxtun, Lorraine Green of Julesburg, son Duane Harms and his wife Kim of Paoli, Damon Harms of Paoli, and Linda Alberts of Fort Collins. His grandchildren are Jeffrey Harms and his wife Becky of Fleming, Lisa Washington and her husband Jason of Grand Junction, Cameron Alberts and his wife Teagan of Fort Collins, Kirk Alberts of Gosport, England, Shelby McCall and her husband Avery of Aurora, Jordon Harms of Haxtun and Ryan Harms of Omaha, Nebraska as well as 6 great grandchildren and 1 great great grandson.
Services will be held at Haxtun United Methodist Church in Haxtun, Colorado on Friday, January 26th, at 10:30am. Interment will follow at the Haxtun Cemetery. Baucke Funeral Home of Holyoke was in charge of the arrangements.