John Frazier Harley

John Frazier Harley

November 23, 1946 – November 17, 2020
Age 73, passed away at the Minneapolis Veterans Hospital Center hospice unit on November 17 surrounded by his children after a long and valiant battle with kidney disease. John was born on November 23, 1946 at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C., to Clementine Frazier Harley and Sgt. John C. Harley. He was raised in Washington D.C. and Geneva, Switzerland and graduated from J.E. Spingarn High School in Washington, D.C. in 1965. He attended the College du Leman in Versoix, Switzerland before enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corp. From September 1966 to February 1970, John served his country with distinction in the dirt and mud of Vietnam with his brothers-in arms of ‘Hotel’ Company, 2nd Battalion 9th Marines and later with ‘Echo’ Company, 2nd Battalion 8th Marines. He was stationed at several locations along the DMZ and fought in numerous battles including Con Thien, Khe Sahn, the Tet Offensive and Oklahoma Hills. He was wounded four times in combat and exposed to Agent Orange. His multiple service commendations include the Bronze star for Valor and four awards of the Purple Heart plus several Navy Marine Corps commendations. He remained in contact with his Marine brothers his entire life, posting on social media remembering those who fought and died with him. Upon returning to the USA, John attended the University of Minnesota and graduated in 1973 with a BA in International Relations. He also attended graduate school at The Ohio State University. He then joined IBM’s Minnesota Data Processing Division. He worked for IBM’s DPD and NAD divisions and in Charlotte NC with the Finance Industry group. After 15 years at IBM he went to work at IBM business partners Centron, Total and Data Serv back in Minneapolis until his health challenges forced him to retire. John had a rewarding professional career under the guidance of his IBM mentor Gerald Swanberg and the support of the IBM community. John married the love of his life Patricia Mahoney Harley in 1987. They were married 31 years before Pat’s passing in 2018 from a rare muscle disorder she battled for two decades. John was preceded in death by his father and mother. He is survived by stepdaughters Johanna Seabolt (Scott), Cleveland, GA and April Chu (Bradford), Minneapolis and children Robert F. Harley and Michael A.F. Harley, Minneapolis; David G.F. Harley (Analyssa), Houston, TX; Anne Marie F. Harley, Forest Lake, MN and John-Paul F. Harley, Atlanta Georgia. grandchildren Jace and Christian Seabolt and Ramona Chu. John was forever grateful to Willard and Denise Gove for their friendship, mentoring and support during his difficult years after returning from Vietnam. He appreciated long-time friendships with Cindy Gove Bloomquist, Peter and Mary Gove, Dr. Sandy Gove, Michael and Diane Gove, David and Lynn Skuza and Linda Dolton. John was indebted to David Skuza for his gift of a kidney. John’s family thanks the Church of St. Michael parish in Stillwater for its assistance and support over the years. The family plans a celebration of John’s life in 2021. His remains will be interred with Pat at Fort Snelling National Cemetery with honors. The family thanks the staff at the VA and its hospice unit for John’s care. Memorials are suggested to the St. Vincent DePaul Society c/o St. Michael’s. Arrangements by Crescent Tide, St. Paul. John Harley served his country in Vietnam with bravery and distinction. He supported his wife while both dealt with chronic debilitating illnesses. John provided quiet yet steady love and support to his children. He faced life’s challenges with determination, grace and his strong faith. (Published in the Star Tribune on November 22, 2020)