William Samuel Harrah, 90, of Bloomington, IN passed away peacefully at IU Bloomington Hospital on Sunday, January 17. He was born December 1, 1930 to Herbert Samuel and Elsie Zola Whaley Harrah on Wildcat Avenue in Bloomfield, Indiana.
His is survived by his wife, Sharlene Lou (Duffey) Harrah. They were married for 69 years (March 12) and were each other’s best friend; his sister, Betty Harrah of Muncie, IN; his daughter Cathi (Harrah) Barzilauskas (Carl) of Nashville, In; and son, Patrick (Danna Leggett Harrah) of Cypress, TX ; three grandsons, Robert “Bo” Barzilauskas, Blake Harrah and Alec Harrah. He leaves behind many friends and friends who left before him including Chuck Townsend, Bill’s classmate since first grade at Bloomfield Grade School and who remained friends until his recent passing in Florida.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and his brothers Thomas Harrah and Herbert Harrah.
Bill was a graduate of Bloomfield High School and one of his claims to fame was his first automobile while in high school, a 1945 green and yellow Willys Army Jeep. Many friends enjoyed riding around with Bill in Bloomfield and surrounding Greene County. A man of many trades, he worked hard to provide a home and support for his family. Some of his many trades included owning and operating Phillips 66 service station in Bloomfield, selling cars, building silos throughout the Midwest and being a member of building crew of a Tennessee courthouse. He was an insurance claims adjuster and office manager for Indiana Insurance for 31 years. In retirement, he then worked with local attorneys as a case investigator.
Bill was a member of Bloomfield Lions Club and Elks Lodge for over 25 years. He was a volunteer fireman for the town of Bloomfield. One of the thrills for his daughter, Cathi was riding in the firetruck on the 4th of July to set up for firework display and for his son, Pat, riding in the firetruck as Santa was delivered to his workshop on the square. He also served as President of the Bloomfield Town Board and on the Bloomfield Baptist Church New Building committee.
Bill was also a man who loved fishing, especially week-long excursions to Reelfoot, TN with his Bloomfield buddies and boat in tow. He was also a golfer, and admitted to a Handicap of 15. He not only played with Bloomfield and Bloomington friends but also had many golf vacations with his wife, Sharlene and their good friends. One of his favorite golf vacations was to Palm Springs, California. Bill and Sharlene made annual trips to Florida with couples from Bloomfield and always brought back stories, scrapbooks, and lots of laughs.
A special thank you to the nurses of Advanced Heart Care Center/IUBH, Southern Care Hospice and nursing and physicians at IU Bloomington Hospital, the staff at Redbud Retirement Living and friends and family for their support. He made a point to learn everyone’s name, where they grew up and any other information they were willing to share. Bill loved calling all his caregivers by their first name and having a personal connection with them.
Visitation will be Friday, January 22 from 11 am to 1 pm at The Funeral Chapel of Powell and Deckard in Bloomington. A private service will follow at 130 pm at the Funeral Chapel. Private burial of his remains to be determined at a later date at Prairie Chapel Cemetery in Greene County. Covid-19 restrictions we will be limited to 25 people at a time in the funeral home. In lieu of flowers contributions may be given to the healthcare agency of choice.