A celebration of his life will be in July.
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Richard Doede Harms

July 26, 1935 -January 22, 2024

Richard Doede Harms passed away peacefully at home from heart complications Monday
January 22, 2024. Rich was born July 26, 1935 in Maple Island, MN to Dick and Louise
(Dohrmann) Harms, the fourth of six children and the first son of a strong German family. He
loved his parents and the example they set for the family. He graduated from Albert Lea High
School in 1953 and in 1954 enlisted in the US Air Force stationed at McGuire Air Force Base in
New Jersey. In 1957 he pursued a college degree in natural resources management and
graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1961. He worked for the United States
Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management in Roseburg, Tillamook and Vale Oregon;
then Dillon Montana where he was Area Manager. He was chosen to open the first BLM
substation office in Cottonwood Idaho .. Chief Joseph Resource Area in 1974. He set up the
office from scratch and hired a team of foresters, engineers, river rangers, range
conservationists, archaeologists and biologists. In 1981 he transferred to MN to be nearer his
aging parents and headed the BLM office in the Federal Building in Duluth MN. It was here he
met the love of his life, Charlene. When they closed the Duluth office in August 1983, Rich
retired from the federal government. He dabbled in real estate for a while and then became
the District Manager for the South St. Louis Soil and Water Conservation District retiring in July 1998. Rich trained and supervised many natural resource employees throughout his career.

In retirement Rich and Char travelled with their camper on elk hunting trips in Montana and
Idaho; fishing in Canada; road trip to Alaska; drove the Lewis & Clark Trail; toured the Gaspe
Peninsula; ocean cruises and eight wonderful winters as snowbirds in San Tan Valley AZ. In
2021 health issues stopped the winter trips and our home on Boulder Lake, north of Duluth
MN, became our sanctuary. As his health deteriorated, his wish was to pass away at home, and
that he did.

Rich is survived by his wife of nearly 42 years, Charlene. He has three sons, Bret of LaSalle IL;
Bart (Mollie) of Houston TX; Nicholas (Leslie) of Otis Orchards WA; and one daughter Christine
Ross of Duluth MN. He has eleven grandchildren and four beautiful great grandchildren. He is
also survived by his best friend and brother, Walter (Carolyn) Harms; sister Alice (Charles)
Torgerson; and brother-in-law Alan Morton; and Char’s close knit family Jim Pellman, Lora (Lee)
Olson, Cindy (Duane) Crider, Janine (Doug) Seis and Tammy Pellman along with many nieces
and nephews.

There will be no funeral per his request, but a celebration of his life in July.

Thank you to the medical staff at Essentia Health Proctor Clinic who were with us his final day
and gave us the strength and peace to accept what was to come.

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