Mr. Harley Ruland Lorenz, 97, of Pflugerville, TX, passed away on his birthday, Friday, April 6, 2018 at Olin E. Teague Veterans Center in Temple, TX.
He was born in Titusville, PA on April 6, 1921 to the late Emett Carl and Mary Ann (McClintock) Lorenz.
Harley graduated from Colestock High School in Titusville, PA.
He was a veteran of the United States Army Air Corps during World War II. He entered on August 18, 1942 in New Cumberland, PA and was honorably discharged with the rank of Private First Class on February 14, 1946 at Camp Atterbury, IN.
Harley served during WWII in the Asiatic Pacific Theatre and was involved in the Luzon Philippine Liberation Campaign and the Japan occupation, where he served as an Altitude Chamber Technician. He was a rifle marksman. He was awarded with the Asiatic Pacific Theatre Ribbon with a Bronze Star, the Philippines Liberation Ribbon with a Bronze Star, the American Theatre Ribbon, Good Conduct Ribbon, and the Victory Medal.
Harley worked for the United States Department of Agriculture as a map maker for twenty-one years and called Salt Lake City, UT his home upon his retirement. On November 30, 2014, Harley moved from an assisted living home in Salt Lake City, UT to Texas to live with his nephew, John Hawkins, and his wife Cynthia, in Pflugerville, TX.
Harley owned several businesses, including “Harley’s Used Auto Parts” and did local photography in Titusville, PA. He is well-known for his photograph taken on September 24, 1950, that made the front page in The Titusville Herald entitled “Midnight at Mid-Afternoon” describing the phenomenon of pitch darkness for several hours in mid-afternoon caused by smoke from forest fires in northern Alberta, Canada.
He enjoyed jazz music and ballroom dancing. He was an avid coin collector and photographer. He was well-known for his “train whistle” hoot!
Harley was the post commander at the local Salt Lake City VFW Post 3586 for a year and loved to hang out with his fellow comrades from WWII. He was a current member of the local Austin VFW Post 8787 and regularly attended and sang karaoke on Friday nights!
He is survived by a sister, Lois “Evelyn” Lorenz McKee of Erie, PA; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Harley was preceded in death by a brother, Joseph “Mac” Lorenz; and three sisters, Sarah Belle “Sally” Lorenz Bly, Ethel “Jean” Lorenz Cosper, and Edith “Eleanor” Lorenz Hawkins.
Friends and family may call at the Gordon B. Garrett Funeral Home, 303 N. Washington Street, Titusville, PA 16354, on Thursday, April 12, 2018 from 11 AM to 1 PM, at which time the funeral service will be held, with Pastor Gary Kinnear officiating.
Memorial contributions can be made to: Capital City VFW Post 8787, 500 VFW Road, Austin, TX 78753, (512) 836-8767.
Interment will be in Rose Hill Cemetery in Spartansburg, PA with full military rights observed at Gordon B. Garrett Funeral Home.