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In memory of Lafayette George Harter Jr.


picture of Lafayette George Harter Jr.

Lafayette George Harter Jr.

May 28, 1918 — Sept. 30, 2011

Former longtime Corvallis resident Lafayette “Lafe” G. Harter Jr., 93, of Portland died of natural causes on Sept. 30 in Portland.

He was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, the son of Lafayette G. Harter Sr. and Helen Ives Harter. In 1941, he graduated from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. After the war, he attended Stanford University, where he earned Master of Arts and doctoral degrees in economics. He taught at Menlo College in Menlo, Calif., and College of Marin in Kentfield, Calif. In 1950, he married Charlotte Mary Toshach of Saginaw, Mich.

In 1960, they came to Oregon State University. He taught economics and courses involving labor. For a number of years, he taught a course in economics on TV.

Among his assignments were the management of some economic conferences, terms as faculty senator, inter-institutional faculty senator, chairman of the OSU Board of Governors, and the Faculty Welfare Committee. As part of his interest in faculty welfare, he served a term as president of the OSU chapter of the Oregon State Employees’ Association. He published several books and a number of articles.

For about 25 years, he served as an arbitrator in labor disputes. A number of his awards were published.

His public service included being chairman of the Oregon State Council on Unemployment Compensation; a lay member of the Oregon State Bar’s Committee on Professional Responsibility for Benton, Linn and Lincoln counties; a public member of the Oregon Council on Court Procedures on Professional Responsibility for Benton, Linn and Lincoln counties; a member of the Oregon Council on Court Procedures; campaign chairman and president of Benton County United Way; and campaign chairman of the Marin County chapter of the American Cancer Society.

He was also active in First Congregational United Church of Christ in Corvallis. He served as one of the mode members reconstituting the church in 1963, and was on the building committee for the present structure. He also served as moderator, deacon, trustee, treasurer and in other capacities.

As a boy in Iowa, he paddled more than 320 miles of the Des Moines River. In Oregon, he used his canoe on the Willamette River and other bodies of water. He enjoyed swimming both in pools and in the ocean in Maui, and at their summer home in New Hampshire. With his wife, he traveled extensively and enjoyed a number of cruises. They also enjoyed the Monads Dance Club.

In the fall of 1941, prior to Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve, and served on active duty until January of 1946. He achieved the rank of Lieutenant Commander. His duty included combat within the Western Pacific, where he and his shipmates on the Steamer Bay, CVE 87 earned six battle stars.

Survivors include his sons, Lafayette G. Harter III and James T. Harter; daughter, Charlotte Harter Mesecar; and four grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Charlotte Toshach Harter.

A services will take place at 1 p.m. Dec. 17 at First Congregational Church in Corvallis. The Rev. Elizabeth N. Oettinger will officiate.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Oregon State University Foundation for economics scholarships.