Frederick F. Harshbarger Jr. was born to Rosemary and Frederick Harshbarger in Alton, Illinois, on Oct. 31, 1941. He graduated from Marquette High School in June 1959, and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. After completion of Recruit Training at MCRD San Diego, California, and Infantry Training Camp Pendleton, he was assigned to MCAS El Toro as a Navy stock clerk. His officer in charge discussed with him a possibility of becoming a marine aviator, and after a flight in an F9F Cougar jet, he was hooked on flying. He was accepted into the Marine Aviation Cadet program in November 1960 and began pre-flight training at NAS Pensacola, Florida. After 18 months of flight training, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the USMC and was awarded his Naval Aviator Wings, four months before his 21st birthday.

He reported to MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina, and was assigned to fly the A4 Skyhawk, a light attack single seat jet aircraft. This was the primary aircraft he flew throughout his career. During his 21-year career, he served in various attack squadrons, as well as staff tours, and flew several different kinds of aircraft, but the Skyhawk was always his “first love.”

He served two tours in Vietnam. His first year was as a forward air controller with the 1st Battalion 7th Marines and his second as the operations officer of Marine Attack Squadron 311. He also served three years as a flight instructor in Kingsville, Texas. In 1972, he was selected for the college degree completion and received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Auburn University in 1974.

He was awarded the Bronze Star, 17 Air Medals, the Navy Commendations Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon for his combat service, as well as several other service awards. He was retired from the USMC as a lieutenant colonel in 1980 and returned to Auburn with his family. He was the executive assistant to the dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine for 21 years until his second retirement in 2004.

Fred and his family moved to the Marvyn community in southern Lee County in July 1989. There he enjoyed the joys and benefits of country living. He could fix almost anything and was happiest building, taking care of our animals, or just “piddling” in his workshops. He was an animal lover, a “tree hugger,” and most of all, a man devoted to his wife and sons.

He was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church for 49 years. He served on the Lee County Humane Society Board of Directors for two years. He was also a member of the Billy Stelphlug Detachment of the Marine Corps League in Auburn.

Fred was loved and respected by his family and will be remembered for his strong sense of personal responsibility, his perseverance, determination, diligence and gentle kindness. Fred had a compassionate, gentle side that most people never saw.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother John, and sisters Rose Marie McNamee, Patricia Maher and Debbie Violet. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Linda Harshbarger, and his two sons William A. and Eric C. Also, his brothers Ronald E. (Renee) and Andy J. (Mary), as well as many nephews and nieces.

We will miss him dearly.

A memorial service was held for Mr. Harshbarger at Trinity Lutheran Church in Auburn on Feb. 11, 2023. 

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church, Auburn or

Paws Humane Society

4900 Milgen Rd.

Columbus, GA 31907


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