LAUREL - Thomas Mark Harmon was born Oct. 7, 1955, the oldest child of William H. and Joan Harmon. He was taken from us much too soon on Jan. 2, 2006, when his single engine airplane crashed in Utah on his way back to work.
He attended school in Shelby, N.C., where he graduated in 1973. He was the star defensive nose tackle on the undefeated 1972 North Carolina State Champs. He met and married Tamela in 1976.
In Oct., he came out to Wyo. for a hunting trip. During that trip, he fell in love with the beautiful lands of Wyo. and Mont. Amanda Jo was born Aug. 10, 1977. Mark moved to a ranch in Decker. On April 17, 1980, his son Christopher David was born. In the fall of 1988, Mark went to Alaska for the first time. In 1991, he and Tamela were divorced.
In February 1991, Mark met Wanda. Mark and Wanda seemed like an unlikely match at first, she "lived to work" and he "worked to live." While they were dating, Mark's job as a contract field engineer required him to locate in Alabama. On Oct. 20, 1994, Wanda and Mark found themselves in Las Vegas, where they married. In 1998, they designed and built the house they were residing at. He bought his first airplane in December and began taking pilot lessons. On March 3, 1999, he received his Private Pilot's license and in 2004, his Commercial License. Mark used his plane to commute between jobs and home.
Wanda and Mark enjoyed flying, fishing and hunting in Alaska and around the U.S., as well as traveling to Mexico, fishing. Mark was an avid hunter and excellent marksman. In 1994, he was named the Rookie World Skeet Shooting Champion in San Antonio, TX. After applying for 24 years, he was successful in drawing a permit for a Bighorn Sheep. Oct., 2005, he flew his bush plane to the Missouri Breaks, where he was successful in taking his trophy of a lifetime, a 10-year-old bighorn ram. Mark was an instructor for Bow Hunter's safety and a member of the Montana Pilot's Association.
Mark is survived by his wife and best friend, Wanda; his parents, William H. Harmon of Bessmer City, N.C., and Joan Gore of Kings Mountain, N.C.; his daughter, Amanda Jo Carlson (Riky) and their sons, Michael Alax, Jeffrey Matthew and Jordan Gabriel; his son, Christopher David Harmon (Dina) and their children, Kordell Jacob and Jordan Paige, and a granddaughter due in February, all of Billings. He is also survived by his brother, William Norman Harmon of Caser, N.C.; and sister Lisa Ryals of Belton, Texas; his mother and father-in-law, John and Dorothy Ostwalt of Laurel; brother-in-law Warren Ostwalt (Kristin) and their sons Tyler and Zachary of Laurel; sister-in-law Peggy Ostwalt and her daughter Allison of Billings. He is also survived by numerous aunts, uncles and cousins, his extended Pilot family, friends and neighbors. He touched the hearts of a11 those who knew him.
We love you and miss you, Grandpa, you will be in ours hearts and lives forever.
Funeral services will be held 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6, at Smith Funeral Chapel-Laurel.
Interment will be in the Laurel Cemetery, followed by a fellowship time at the New Life Foursquare Church in Laurel.
Memorials are suggested to: Young Eagles - Billings Chapter, 4825 Arapaho Trail, Billings, MT 59106 or to Shrine Children's Hospitals or Shrine Transportation Fund or choice.
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