Howard was born on January 22, 1927, in Portsmouth. He graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1944. He was active in music during high school and played in the Ohio State Fair Band. He enrolled in The Ohio State University and played in The Ohio State University Marching Band in 1945. Howard was one of eight saxophonists who performed Script Ohio with the Ohio State Marching Band.
He was drafted in the Navy in 1945 and was stationed in Chicago, where he scheduled troop and hospital trains.
Upon discharge in 1946, he returned to Ohio State where he received a Juris Doctor degree in 1951. He was a member of Delta Tau Delta and Phi Delta Phi fraternities. Harcha fronted a 16-piece dance band through his first year of law school.
He was recalled to serve in the US Army during the Korean War after his graduation from law school. He served with the 2053rd reception center in Ft. Meade, Maryland, counseling soldiers returning from and leaving for overseas service.
Upon discharge in 1953, he returned to Portsmouth, Ohio, to practice law with John A. Staker, Donald Blair, and Kenyon Watkins.
He was an assistant prosecutor for Scioto County before joining the firm of Kimble, Schapiro, Stevens, and Harsha.
When his son, Howard Harcha, III, returned to Portsmouth, they practiced law together for 9 years, in the firm of Harcha and Harcha. When his son, Howard “Hank”, III began his judicial career, Harcha practiced with Todd Book and David Beck. Altogether he practiced law for 52 years.
Harcha was a member of the Portsmouth Bar Association, the Ohio State Bar Association where he served on the Board of Governors, the Ohio Bar Foundation, and was elected to the American College of Trust and Estates Council.
He also served on the board of the Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers. He was a founding member of the OSU Advocates group, as well as a member of the National Council of The Ohio State University Law School.
He was a 50-year member of both Aurora Lodge and Scottish Rite of Cincinnati. In 2003 he was coronated an honorary thirty-third-degree Mason by the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction.
He served on the Portsmouth Area Service Council, Portsmouth Public Library Board, Portsmouth Health Board, Scioto County Foundation and the Red Cross Board. He served as a member of Shawnee State University Trustees. He served on the Board of Directors at the National Bank of Portsmouth, President of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, and served on the board at Hillview Retirement Center. He was also a 50-year member of Kiwanis Club.
He was a member of Franklin Avenue United Methodist Church and Cornerstone United Methodist Church. At Franklin Avenue UMC , he served as a lay leader and Sunday school teacher.
Harcha lived his life as a servant-leader and inspired his children and grandchildren to understand the importance of a Christian faith. His warmth, love and kindness will be greatly missed.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Howard H. and Edith (Nee Redwine) Harcha,Sr., his wife of 55 years, Mary Lee (Nee White) Harcha, his sister Mildred Gowdy, and daughter-in-law, Peggy Harcha.
He is survived by his son, Judge Howard H. Harcha, III, and daughter, Dr. Michelle Harcha. Also surviving are his grandchildren, Heather (John) Walker, Howard H. (Kristen) Harcha IV, Dr. John (Cassie) Harcha, Dr. Matthew (Queairra) Harcha, six great grandchildren, one brother, Russell (Dorothy) Harcha, and many nieces and nephews.
His family is comforted knowing he and Mary Lee are together.
Visitation will be held Tuesday July 27th, 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM with a Masonic Service at 8:00 PM at Cornerstone United Methodist Church, 1415 Gallia Street, Portsmouth.
Funeral Service will be held Wednesday July 28th, 12:00 Noon, also at Cornerstone United Methodist Church, with visitation an hour prior to service.
Entombement, with Military Honors, will immediately follow the service in Edgewood Abbey Mausoleum, at Memorial Burial Park, Wheelersburg. Pastor Tim Roth will be officiating.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Shawnee State University Foundation, the Scioto County Foundation, the Endowment Fund of Cornerstone United Methodist Church, or the educational fund of Hillview Retirement Center.
A special thanks to all the loving and caring staff and friends at Hillview Retirement Community and SOMC Hospice.
Please visit www.fcdaehlermortuary.com to leave special memories or condolences for the Harcha family.