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Dr. Ronald Verdell Harms

May 6, 1930 ~ September 14, 2021 (age 91)

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Dr. Ronald Verdell Harms, 91, of Morehead City, passed away on Tuesday, September 14, 2021.

A private graveside service will be held on Sunday, September 19, 2021 at Greenwood Cemetery in Morehead City.

Ron was born on May 6, 1930 to Thomas and Alice Saupe Harms in Archer, Iowa. He gained a lifelong love for natural history and the outdoors growing up hunting and fishing on the Harms Family Farm. In high school he excelled at baseball and basketball, and was guard on the Archer basketball team that went to substate. He attended the University of Iowa for undergraduate and dental school, earning his DDS in 1954. In college he met his wife-to-be, Patricia Templeton, at a church group softball game and was impressed with her glove work. He got her attention by tossing a ball at her, hitting her, apologizing, and asking her out for a date. After graduating he served 2 years in the US Navy as a Lieutenant and dentist on the USS Staten Island ice breaker on missions supplying the Distant Early Warning Line in the Arctic and the Ellsworth Station in the Antarctic. In 1956 they settled in Laurens, Iowa, where Ron practiced dentistry for nearly 40 years (he was known for giving out sugarless Trident gum for Halloween), Pat was librarian, and they raised two children. He planted trees throughout his lifetime, including many of the trees on the Laurens golf course, and planted a live oak tree in his back yard this summer, because it is never too late to plant a tree. His hobbies included fishing, hunting, canoeing, hunting Native American artifacts at the Potato Farm, birding, bird banding, lepidoptery, and prairie plants. He instilled his love of nature in his children, both of whom work in conservation-related fields. He had a passion for sharing his knowledge of wildlife with children and any willing adult listener.

Ron and Pat spent much time driving back and forth between Iowa and Norfolk, Connecticut, to spend time with their grandchildren as they grew up, and then moved to Morehead City in 2009 following retirement. They found a dream house on Calico Creek with a beautiful back yard for birding and a dock for fishing.

He is survived by his much loved, talented, and beautiful wife of 67 years, Patricia Templeton Harms; children, Shelley Harms (David Torrey) and Craig Harms; grandchildren, Daniel Torrey and Meredith Torrey; niece, Denise Swartz; and nephews, Kent, Leon, and Joel Wilkens.

Ron was preceded in death by parents, Thomas and Alice Harms, and sisters, Dorothy McIntosh and Arlin Wilkens.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation

Condolences and life tributes may be sent to the family at 

Arrangements by Noe-Brooks Funeral Home, Morehead City, NC.

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