Thomas E. Harbin, Sr., 78, passed away on Friday morning, January 10, 2020 at his residence in South Bend, IN. He was born on July 3, 1941 in South Bend to Robert L. Harbin, Sr., and Geraldine (Heltzel) Harbin, both of whom preceded him in death.
On September 21, 1968 in South Bend, Tom married the former Mary Ann Horvath, who survives. In addition to his loving wife of 51 years, Tom is survived by sons, Thomas (Sherry) Harbin, Jr., of Cincinnati, OH, and Charles Harbin of Niles, MI; four grandchildren, Ethan, Ian, Harli, Mariska; and his brother, Robert L. (Janice) Harbin, Jr., of Fort Wayne, IN.
Tom, or “Big Tom” as he was known to his family and friends, was a graduate of John Adams High School and Valparaiso Technical Institute. He enlisted in the United States Air Force after high school, where he proudly served his country for eight years. The latter years of his enlistment were served in Vietnam as a communications specialist.
Tom began his career in the electronics field, working at Heath Company in St. Joseph, MI, for nine years. The remainder of his working years was spent in the plastic injection molding industry as a quality control manager from which he retired.
Fishing, golfing, snowmobiling and boating were Tom’s favorite recreations. He cherished the many out-of-town trips and golf outings with his two sons and friends.
In retirement, spending time at his lake cottage with family and friends ranked high among his favorite things to do. Gardening at home also became a passion. Visitors rarely left his home without a bag of fresh vegetables (whether they wanted them or not).
Big Tom was a loving husband, a loving father, a loving grandfather, a good friend to all. He is missed.
Graveside services and interment of ashes will be held at a later date at Fort Custer National Cemetery in Augusta, MI. Palmer Funeral Home—Hickey Chapel and Southlawn Cremation Services are assisting the family.
Contributions in memory of Tom may be donated to Wounded Warrior Project, 4899 Belfort Road, Suite 300, Jacksonville, FL 32256; or National Kidney Foundation, 911 E. 86th Street, Suite 100, Indianapolis, IN 46240.
Online condolences may be left for the Harbin family at www.palmerfuneralhomes.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Thomas E. Harbin, please visit our floral store.
Wounded Warrior Project - Headquarters
4899 Belfort Road, Suite 300, Jacksonville FL 32256
National Kidney Foundation- Indianapolis
911 E. 86h Street, Suite 100, Indianapolis IN 46240