Orie Thomas "Tom" Harman
After a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease and its complications, Orie Thomas (Tom) Harman, 79, of Newton Street, Keyser WV, passed peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday, April 22nd, at 7:25 pm at Winchester Medical Center where he had been given the best, most compassionate care possible for 37 days by the nurses, CNAs, safety companions, and hospitalists on the 4th floor.
Tom was born in Keyser, WV, on July 31st, 1940. He was the son of Herbert R. and Lillian M. (Miller) Harman. Tom was a well-respected educator, coach, and administrator and a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin, and friend.
Tom was a 1958 graduate of Keyser High School where he lettered in football, wrestling, and track, and was an Ed Kelley Award nominee. Tom was named an All PVC Conference first team guard in 1957, was inducted into the KHS Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997, and was named a member of the Keyser High School 100th All Century Football Team.
Tom was a graduate of Potomac State College (associate’s degree) and Shepherd College where he earned his bachelor’s degree in education. During his time at Shepherd College, he was named an All American in small college football. He earned his master’s degree in education from UVA.
He married Vicki Kephart on June 2, 1962. He began his teaching career at Bruce High School (1962-1964), taught at Valley High School from 1964-1982 and the Allegany County Career Center from 1982-1991. He started the football program at Bruce High School where his first role as assistant coach to Pete Ladygo was to teach the novice players to put on the equipment. Coach Harman started the football program for the Black Knights at Valley HS where he served as head coach and had a 1974 Maryland State Championship Football Team.
Mr. Harman’s administrative skills took him to Braddock Middle as Assistant Principal in 1991/92 and he served in that role at the Career Center from 1992-94. He was named an Outstanding Young Man of America in 1992. Before his retirement in 2002, he served as principal at Braddock Middle School in Cumberland MD from 1994-2002 completing a 40-year career as a respected educator and beloved teacher, coach, and administrator.
Tom was an active member of the Keyser Kiwanis Club for many years and served as a ruling elder at the Keyser Presbyterian Church. He spearheaded the campaign to have a multi-purpose building constructed at Keyser Presbyterian Church and saw the project through to completion.
Tom and Vicki were devoted WVU fans and traveled to home games for many years with Tom and Thelma O’Connor. They traveled to the bowl games, took bus trips with other diehard Mountaineer fans, and also attended the WVU basketball games in Morgantown. Tom will long be remembered for his love of family, students, athletes, fellow educators, teammates, fellow church members, and his beloved Mountaineers. He was a true educator and an exemplary role model. Tom positively impacted those around him and was an actively engaged citizen in his hometown and professional communities. He believed in doing good things to improve the lives of others and lived so daily and through his work as a public servant.
Tom is survived by his wife of 57 years, Vicki, and his children, daughter Robin and husband Albert Owens Jr. of Winchester VA, and son, Thomas S. Harman and wife Melissa of Millsboro DE. He is survived by his brothers Robert D. Harman and wife Phyllis of Keyser, and Herbert L. Harman of Sunset Beach NC. Also surviving are grandsons Ty Martin of Lincoln NE and Cole Owens of Winchester VA, and granddaughters Charlotte Harman and Mariah Dant of Millsboro DE. In addition to his grandchildren he is survived by nephews Craig Harman (Cathy), Kirk Harman, Scott Kephart (Ruth), Dr. Herb Harman (Suzanne), and Mark Harman (Kristen), and nieces Kelley Kuhn (Jeff), Kami Stafford (Harold), Julie Friday (Derwin), and Beth Kephart.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Herb and Lillian Harman and niece Tracy Alt.
A private interment of Tom’s ashes will take place with the immediate family. A celebration of life will be held at a later date and time TBD. Memorial contributions can be mailed to Keyser Presbyterian Church Multipurpose Building Fund, PO Box 729, Keyser WV 26726 and specified for the multipurpose building in memory of Tom Harman.
Arrangements are being handled by Markwood Funeral Home (markwoodfuneralhome.com).
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Keyser Presbyterian Church
P.O. Box 729, Keyser, WV 26726, AL