Michael R. Harting, 55, of Granger, passed away Wednesday, March 25, 2020 in St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, Mishawaka due to complications from Metastatic Melanoma.
Mike was born on October 14, 1964 in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, the son of Alvin and Barbara (Ruth) Harting. He grew up in the Sinking Springs area of Pennsylvania and was a 1983 graduate of Wilson High School in West Lawn, PA.
On March 4, 1995, Mike married the former Kathleen C. Nolan. He is survived by Kathy along with twin daughters, Courtney and Leigh Ann Harting; his father, Alvin Harting; and his sister, Ann (Harold) Kauffman. Mike was preceded in death by his mother, Barbara.
Mike was a long-time Locomotive Engineer. In 1984, Mike started on the newly formed Blue Mountain & Reading Railroad out of Hamburg, PA. He then moved on to Conrail in 1988 and worked on many of the rail lines Conrail owned in Southeastern and Northeastern PA. In 1990 he transferred back to the Reading Blue Mountain & Northern out of West Cressona, PA to be able to work closer to home. In December of 1994, Mike hired onto the Delaware & Hudson (“D&H”) division of Canadian Pacific Railway (“CP”) and worked on many of D&H lines. In 2005, he and his family transferred to the Michiana area so he could work on CP’s Soo Line newly created Elkhart Division which runs between Chicago, Elkhart, and Windsor, Ontario. He was happiest when he was “running the big ones on the road.”
During Mike’s railroad career, he was a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineer and Trainmen (BLET) and was very active in the CP Safety Committees both in Pennsylvania and Indiana. He also served as 1st Vice Chairman - Indiana Legislative Board for the BLET Division 754, was the Delegate to the National Division, as well as serving on the Indiana SLB Executive Committee.
Some of Mike’s passions included railroad steam programs, photographing trains and Great Lakes ships, and traveling with his family. A running joke in the family was that there had to be a railroad or port nearby for any travel destinations. The exception would be visiting National Parks of which Yellowstone was a favorite. One main goal he had was to get his Girls to all the 48 contiguous States in our travel trailer. He was one state short; Oregon will have to wait. Many photos from his travels have been published in railroad magazines and his work has also appeared in various railroad books. He has even had some photographs published in Great Lakes shipping books and magazines with his ship photos.
Mike was involved in many railroad volunteer activities. Just a few of these are the Rails Diversified 2102 Steam Program, Reading Company Technical & Historical Society, Hawk Mountain Chapter of the NRHS, Kempton WK&S Railroad, he organized a local slide show while in Pennsylvania called Winter Blues Slide Show for local railroaders and fans to share stories and slide photos. It was not uncommon for Mike to be invited to area Historical Societies to share his photos and the history behind them.
Mike attended Hope United Methodist Church in Edwardsburg.
One of the things Mike was most proud of was the achievements of his daughters, Courtney and Leigh Ann. He was extremely proud of their work ethic in school and outside of school. Though Dad may not have always appreciated the music the Girls listened to, he always loved listening to them perform with their musical instruments, whether this was at a music lesson, at ISSMA state competitions, or playing in their orchestras, or the band. His biggest concern lately was making sure he had money set aside for his Girls for their first four years of college.
A Memorial Gathering to honor and celebrate Mike’s life will be announced this summer.
In Mike’s memory we ask that in lieu of flowers, if you wish to donate, memorial donations are suggested to the Girls’ 529 College Savings Plans established by Mike .This will help ensure that Mike’s Girls will have financial security through the last year of college and lasting memory of their Dad. Checks should be made out to Kathleen Harting, and mailed to 11697 Wolfe Bridge Court, Granger, IN 46530.
Arrangements are under the care of Goethals & Wells Funeral Home, Mishawaka.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Michael R. Harting, please visit our floral store.
College Savings Plans (529) for Mike's Girls - Checks should be made out to Kathleen Harting
11697 Wolfe Bridge Court, Granger IN 46530