Clifford Henry Harriger, 86, of 50 Columbia Ave., Greenville, passed away unexpectedly at his residence on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, at 4:10 a.m.
He was born in Oil City on June 28, 1926, to the late Floyd and Elma Baum Harriger.
Mr. Harriger spent much of his adolescent life on a small farm about seven miles north of Oil City. He attended Reid School which consisted of six grades and one teacher, Miss Wanetta Stanley. He graduated from Cranberry High School in Seneca in 1944.
Prior to his entering the U.S. Infantry in October 1944, he had been employed by Quaker State Oil Corp. and the Erie Railroad in Oil City.
His Army service took him to Fort McClellan, Ala., in October 1944, then to the Pacific War Zone from June to November 1945; 15 months in Japan occupation with the 41st Infantry, 10th Corps, a communication company, and the 24th Infantry Division as a newspaper reporter, printer and team member, starting schools for soldiers who earned their GED; building radio stations for GIs, both on Honshu and the southern island of Kyushu, while obtaining the rank of sergeant in Japan.
He was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Theater Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal, Victory Medal of Japan, World War II Army Occupation Medal and the Expert Rifleman Pin.
On returning home, Cliff was transferred from Oil City to Greenville, where he completed 43 years with the Erie, Erie Lackawanna and Conrail Railroad, retiring in 1985 as a block tower operator.
Prior to his discharge from the service in 1946, he enlisted in the Army Reserves for three years and then again, in 1949. He was recalled to active service in February 1949 and assigned to Fort Knox, Ky., and the Armored School. He was discharged in June 1950 and returned to Greenville and the Erie Railroad.
Mr. Harriger was active in the Crawford-Erie County State Police as a member of Hartstown Subordinate Company 68 and a member of Chief Company, covering 37 subordinate companies for more than 25 years, having served as chief of the Chief Company on its 100th anniversary in 1978.
He was a member of Calvary United Methodist Church for 50 years. He was active in Western Pennsylvania United Methodist Men, in the Franklin district for more than 25 years, serving as vice president and then president.
In 1956 through 1960 he served East Fallowfield Township, Crawford County, as duly elected constable and justice of the peace. In 1988 he entered the political arena as an appointed council person with Greenville Borough, elected president in January 1990, and resigned in 1993 to become mayor and was re-elected in 1996 and 2000. Mr. Harriger was privileged to attend several state mayor’s annual conventions and took his position very seriously. During his 12 years as mayor, he performed 21 weddings and issued citations and proclamations to some 200 deserving persons and organizations. On June 14, 2011, then Mayor Peter Candela declared “Cliff Harriger Day” in Greenville.
From 2006 through 2009 Mr. Harriger was the daily crossing guard for students at East Elementary School.
He was an avid carpenter and contractor, building homes and remodeling many others including his home. He built his first home with the help from Dad Harriger, Roy Seeley and Earl R. Smith, when he was 21 years old.
Mr. Harriger enjoyed life, his children and his grandchildren. His hobbies were building toys, furniture, remodeling, working with his hands, reading, attending church and church functions, and spending time with grandchildren and friends. He was proud to be the co-daycare provider, with his wife, Ann, for more than 50 years.
Cliff is survived by his wife of 49 years, at home, the former Esther Ann Williams. They were married on Feb. 16, 1963. Also surviving are six daughters, Cherie Jones and her companion, Andrew Hohol III, of Meadville, Brenda Patterson and her husband, Daniel, of Stoneboro, Beckie Erwin and her husband, Shaun, of Greenville, Lori Sherman of Greenville, Gayle Cowan and her husband, Corey, of Greenville, and Heidi Hause and her husband, Kevin, of Greenville; a brother, Robert Harriger and his wife, Doris, of Seneca; 10 grandchildren, Kenton Patterson and his wife, Carley, Kory Patterson and his fiancée, Billie Jo, Kyle Patterson and his wife, Jennifer, Landis Erwin, Garrett Erwin, Andrew Sherman, Rachel Cowan, Raeann Cowan, Corrina Hause and Irene Hause; and several nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his first wife, Erla H. Smith Harriger; four brothers, John L. Harriger, Eugene (Gene) E. Harriger, Raymond A. Harriger and F. Dewaine Harriger; and three sisters, Alice Adams, Lucille Boland and Grace Harriger.
Visitation will be held Saturday from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Calvary United Methodist Church, 44 S. Mercer St., Greenville, where a memorial service will be held at 3 p.m., with the Rev. Dr. Mearl Henley, retired pastor of Calvary United Methodist Church, officiating.
Burial of cremains, with committal prayers and military honors provided by the Greenville Veterans of Foreign Wars honor guard, will follow the service at Shenango Valley Cemetery, Greenville.
Memorial contributions can be made to Calvary United Methodist Church, 44 S. Mercer St., Greenville, Pa. 16125. An online guest book can be signed at osbornefuneralhome.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of Osborne-Williams Funeral Home and Cremation Services Inc., 73-75 Columbia Ave., Greenville.