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Joseph Francis Harber
October 17, 1936 – December 18, 2023
Joe was born at home on Argyle Street in Keyser, WV to Gilbert and Betty Harber. Tommy O’Connor and Reno Calemine sat across the street that day to see which of them won a $.25 bet on whether the Harbers would have a boy or a girl (Reno won). Joe loved growing up in Keyser and was part of the “Main Street Guys” along with Donnie Clem, Ernie Courrier, Jack Landis and Moose Morris just to name a few. Joe graduated Keyser High School in 1954 and enlisted in the US Marines with many of these same men. They would remain life long friends. After the service, Joe enrolled at Potomac State. There was a tradition at the time where freshman girls would draw the name of a freshman football player and write an embarrassing love letter to them. Regina Stento drew Joe’s name and wrote that ‘he made her liver quiver and her stomach flop’. While meant by upper classmen to embarrass the freshman students, the joke was on them. Joe and Regina married their junior year and enjoyed 63.5 years of love. Their family grew to include 4 children and 8 grandchildren, all of whom know the words to the Marine Corp Hymn, since that was the only song Joe would sing while rocking them to sleep.
Joe enjoyed a long career as an accountant in the grocery industry beginning at Allied Supermarkets and finishing as CFO at Ahold USA. He was active in his community serving as the first President of the Ronald McDonald House in Hershey, PA, a child advocate for the South Carolina courts, AU Latum Advocate Boy’s Home and financial advisor to his church and the Keowee Keys HOA.
His interests included tennis and he was part of the Keowee Keys men’s Team that won the National Senior Championship. He also enjoyed boating, fishing and family vacations at the beach or his lakeside retirement home.
Joe is survived by his wife, Regina; his sons, Pat Harber of Shamoung NJ, Mike Harber (Belinda) of Sterling VA, Scott Harber of Charlotte NC; and a daughter, Cathy Shifflett (Craig) of Green Bay WI; his grandchildren, Anthony, Brian, Austin, Megan, Ethan and Riley Harber and Alison and Rachel Shifflett; his sisters, Sue and Jean Harber of Keyser and brother, Mike Harber (Melody) of Berlin PA; his brother-in-law, Vince Stento of Cottonwood AZ, his nieces, Heather Larue (Carl) of Leesburg VA and Nicole Oschner (Mike) of Wellington FL and nephews, Steve Stento (Jamie) and Mark Stento of Phoenix AZ.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Gilbert and Betty Harber; his nephew, Michael Shawn Harber and daughter-in-law, Theresa Harber.
“If the Army and the Navy ever look at Heaven’s scenes, they will find the streets are guarded by United States Marines”. One more member of the “Main Street Guys” will do his part.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, December 22, 2023 at The Church of the Assumption in Keyser, WV at 11:00am with Father Thomas A. Sebastian, CST as celebrant. Friends will be received one hour prior to the services at the church. Interment will be held in St. Thomas Cemetery, Keyser.
Arrangements have been entrusted in the Markwood Funeral Home, Inc.
The family has asked that donations be made to Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research or the Parkinson’s Foundation in lieu of flowers.
Special thank you to Joe’s care team at Harmony at Chantilly, Vitas Hospice and his team of health care aids.
Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
P.O. Box 4777, New York, NY 10163-4777,
American Parkinson Disease Assn.
107 C Anna Square, Fairmont, WV 26554,