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1948 Richard 2023

Richard "Rick" Gordon Harl

February 5, 1948 — February 21, 2023

Richard (Rick) Gordon Harl was born on a Naval Base in the Mariana Islands, Guam on February 5, 1948.  He was the son of Robert W. Harl and Doris Eleanor Werts, Harl.  Richard left this earth with his wife, Jane Anne, laying by his side at their home on February 21. 2023 at 12:30 A.M.

Rick and his family returned to Iowa after his father’s naval career ended.  They lived in Russell until Rick started kindergarten in Centerville.  He attended 12 years of schooling there and classes at Indian Hills Community College.  After graduation, Rick took time to travel to Colorado and New York for fun and employment.  In mid-1968 he joined the Air Force and after basic training returned November of 1968 to Centerville to marry his high school sweetheart, Jane Anne LaPaglia.

They departed to Las Vegas Air Force Base and were there until his discharge.  Rick started working as an insurance agent for State Farm Insurance Companies and in 1971 after the birth of their first son, Christopher Shannon, in December of 1970, they headed to college in Warrensburg, Missouri.  After 2 years there, they moved to Columbia, Missouri where Rick studied to be a Physician Assistant.

His first job was in Bison, South Dakota where after nearly freezing his family to death, they returned to Missouri vowing never to return to South Dakota.  Three months later they found themselves in Wall, South Dakota and experienced six wonderful years there, which included the birth of their second son, Jesse Abram in 1980.  Rick decided it was time to return to Missouri to get his boys closer to their grandparents. They lived there until 1985 when they returned to their home town following Jane Anne’s father, P.J. LaPaglia’s, serious accident while working for Iowa Southern Utilities. They remained in Centerville until 1994 when Dr. William Baumann convinced Rick to move to Fairfield.  They found a small farm near Libertyville and he started his career with the Fairfield Clinic until his retirement in 2013 after the death of his youngest son, Jesse, in 2012. In 2014 Rick and Jane Anne purchased The Dew Drop in Libertyville, a place they loved and agreed became friends with many people they would have never known.

Rick loved his patients at the clinic for all those years but only spoke of his happiness with children and the elderly, always following his vow of never speaking of his patients personally.  He often said he missed kids he enjoyed so much.  Jane Anne often told him of people stopping her to say they missed him and what a wonderful PA he had been, He was humbled and always said he was just doing his job. He tried to have fun with kids and make them comfortable so he could give them the attention they deserved.  Some of them liked that he wore cowboy boots. Rick also loved his farm.  He worked hard for several years and made it into a beautiful home place for his family, where they continue to reside.  He raised cattle for a while and loved calving season watching calves play in the pastures.

He enjoyed visits with son, Chris and his girlfriend, Val when they came down from Iowa City where they live and are employed.

Rick adored his two grandchildren, Drake and Maddy Harl, son and daughter of son, Jesse.  He always talked to them in a way their grandmother couldn’t.  He enjoyed talking to Drake about farming and trucking and even though Maddy had moved to Georgia, they still talked when they could about books, school, and life issues.  They miss him and wish they had had more time with him.

Rick is greatly missed by his surviving family: wife, Jane Anne, oldest son, Christopher (Val) of Iowa City, Iowa, grandchildren, Drake James Harl of Batavia, Iowa and Madalyn (Maddy) DessaMarie of Grovetown, Georgia, sisters, Teri Harl Clark (Ron) of Centerville, Iowa and Cathy Gross of Ankeny, Iowa. The Harl and LaPaglia families were very close. Rick’s father always said Teresa Eggerman (Ron) of Centerville, Iowa daughter of P J and Doris LaPaglia was his daughter too.

Preceding Rick in death were paternal grandparents, James and Mary Harl, maternal grandparents, Walter and Dessa Werts, mother, Doris Harl, father, Robert Harl, brother, Robert William II, and youngest son, Jesse.

Those who knew Rick well, realized quickly he was a very private person and enjoyed his time alone. By his request, there will be no visitation or funeral, however he finally agreed with Jane Anne she could have a Celebration of Life which will be held at his bar, The Dew Drop, Saturday, March 11th at 2:00 P.M.

Rick wished memorials be made to Restore of Fairfield, the store he loved most to frequent, and a pet sanctuary of your choosing.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard "Rick" Gordon Harl, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

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