Lt.Col (Ret.) Robert H. Harter Profile Photo
1926 Lt.Col (Ret.) Robert 2024

Lt.Col (Ret.) Robert H. Harter

December 16, 1926 — May 22, 2024


Lt.Col Robert H. Harter (USMC, ret) beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather passed peacefully into the arms of his Loving Savior on May 22, 2024, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Robert was the son of Velma (Houghton) and Harold Harter of Batavia, NY. Upon graduation from Batavia High School, Robert, known as “Bob,” to his friends, joined the United States Marine Corps (USMC) in June of 1945.  During recruit-training at Parris Island, SC, Japan surrendered (2 Sep 1945). He served the remainder of his enlistment at the Brooklyn (NY) Navy Yard, rising to the rank of Sargent, assisting with the discharges of fellow Marines returning to the United States from overseas service.  He graduated from Houghton College in 1950, using the GI Bill, and received his commission into the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves as a Second Lieutenant.   

Bob moved to Cleveland, Ohio to begin studies and work in hospital administration at St. Luke’s Hospital. While there his Marine Corps reserve unit received orders for active-duty service in Korea where he served as a machine gun platoon commander.  Returning in 1952, he married his college sweetheart, Mary (Perrine) on June 21, 1952, in Jackson, Michigan.  They returned to Cleveland, Ohio where he completed his hospital administrator studies and began his first position at Aultman Hospital in Canton, Ohio. In August 1953, they welcomed a daughter, Aleatha, into to their family. Shortly after, Bob received an offer and accepted an active-duty commission back into the U.S. Marine Corps. His long Marine career brought a variety of challenging and interesting assignments across the United States and the world until his retirement in 1973. He served in numerous command, staff and instructor level positions in peace-time and in during conflicts.  His assignments included at Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA (twice); Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Portsmouth, VA, where he welcomed his first son, Robert H-H (1958); Long Beach, CA, where he welcomed a second son, James L (1963) ), Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, HI and Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, NC.  While stationed in Hawaii, Bob deployed into combat once again as part of the 4th Marine Division from Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii to Okinawa, Japan and Da Nang, South Vietnam (1965-66). 

After 28 years of Marine Corps service, Bob retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1973 and moved to Houghton, NY to serve as the Dean of Student Affairs at his alma mater. During his time in Houghton, he studied for a Master of Arts degree in counseling at St. Bonaventure University in Olean, NY graduating class of 1977.  He then took a position as lower school counselor & history teacher at the New York Military Academy (NYMA), Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY.  After 15 years of teaching and guiding young men and women at NYMA, he moved from work to full-time retirement.  Together with Mary, they joined Cumberland Crossings Retirement Community in Carlisle, PA. 

His varied careers made possible many exciting, though sometimes dangerous, experiences for him and the family.  He and his wife Mary were a loving couple with many family & friends from their travels with the Marine Corps, Houghton College, New York Military Academy, connections with other retired & active-duty officers at USMA (West Point) and U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks and their Carlisle community of 30+ years.  

Throughout life, Bob and Mary were dedicated to serving in many community organizations to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, especially to children. They served in the Protestant Chapel programs at each duty station, teaching Sunday school, leading and hosting Officers Christian Fellowship (OCF) Bible studies in their home, and supporting students through Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF).   Together they supported various foreign & domestic Christian missionaries for over 40 years while on active duty and in retirement.  Their 32 years in Carlisle were spent in serving others through The Gideons, Faith Chapel and their Cumberland Crossings community activities.  Bob, along with Mary spent many years as  American Red Cross -- Service to Armed Forces volunteers at Dunham Army Health Clinic, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Army Barracks, PA. 

Robert is survived by his daughter, Aleatha (Melvin, Jr.) Ziegler Hatcher of Greensboro, NC; two sons, Colonel, Robert (Beth) Harter (U.S. Army, Ret.) of Kaneohe, Hawaii and James (Yvonne) Harter of Charlotte, NC; grandchildren Emerson (Trista) Ziegler, Wesley (Moe Aoki) Ziegler, Charles (Ashley) Ziegler, Harrison Ziegler, Brittany (Ben) Keith, Rebekah (Philip) Harter Tumbaga, Sarah-Grace (Dustin) Hicks, 1st Lt Daniel Harter (USAF) and Matthew Harter; great-grandchildren Caleb, Seth & Aiden Keith and Arimo Tumbaga. 

Robert was preceded in death by his loving wife of 71 years, Mary (Perrine) and granddaughter, MaryGrace K. Ziegler (1981). 

Interment will be private at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Houghton, NY. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lt.Col (Ret.) Robert H. Harter, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Saturday, June 8, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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