James Campbell Harr, 74, of Aberdeen, SD, passed away Saturday, May 22, 2021 surrounded by family at his home in Aberdeen after a brief battle with cancer.
Mass of Christian Burial is 2:00 p.m., Thursday, May 27, 2021 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Aberdeen, with Fr. Andrew Dickinson celebrant.
Burial is at Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery, Aberdeen.
Schriver’s Memorial Mortuary and Crematory, 414 5th Avenue NW, Aberdeen, is in charge of arrangements. Family and friends may sign the online guestbook and also view the service at www.schriversmemorial.com.
Visitation is 5:00-7:00 p.m., Wednesday, at Sacred Heart Fellowship Hall with a Liturgical Wake and Rosary at 7:00 p.m. Visitation continues one hour before Mass at the church.
James was born on April 28, 1947 in Aberdeen, South Dakota. He was the eldest of two sons of Margaret Klee (Campbell) and John Loyal Harr. He was raised in Aberdeen and graduated from Aberdeen Central High School. He attended NDSU and Northern State before he left to pursue his career in the car business.
He met his wife Barbara Ann Rohl when they were both juniors at Aberdeen Central and they were married on November 22, 1968 at Sacred Heart Church. Together they built a loving family and a successful auto dealership business.
Jim started his business selling used cars in the building that adjoined his father’s service and repair station on South Main Street, which became the first site of his dealership, Southside Imports, which ultimately grew and became Harr Motors. This led to his purchase of an early Toyota franchise, when he became the youngest person to be awarded a Toyota franchise at the age of 21. He would go on to acquire additional franchises for Honda and Nissan, creating the only dealership in the country to have these three brands under one roof. The dealership won the prestigious President's Award from Toyota initially in 1987 and then went on to win it 15 more times.
He never lost sight of his priorities of his family and hard work and was proud of his accomplishments in both realms. But as committed as he was to his family and his work, he also made time for leisure activities over his lifetime. He was an avid fisherman and hunter, skills he learned from his father and delighted in sharing with his own children and grandkids, and with fishing buddies at home and around the country. He caught the South Dakota state record Muskie in 1987 and took many fishing trips to Canada with family and friends. He also discovered a love for the Florida Keys, and enjoyed spending time in Marathon, Florida. He dearly loved spending time with family and friends at the lake, fishing and boating from an early age at Mina Lake and then later at Pickerel Lake.
His lifelong love for cars led him to enjoy both a collection of hot rods and a collection of Toyota Land Cruisers. He had a wide range of interests throughout this life that included hobbies as varied as racquetball, counted cross stitch, reading, photography, collecting pens, collecting guns, playing pool, watching the Vikings and Nascar racing, and painting wooden ducks.
One of his favorite times of year was Christmas, especially time with family and the annual family gift exchange where he delighted in sharing copious amounts of gifts. He also relished the opportunity to perform acts of anonymous generosity, such as paying off all the layaway balances at Kmart on Christmas Eve.
Blessed by the opportunity to share his life, he is survived by his wife of nearly 53 years, Barbara; daughter, Stephanie (Barry White) of Saint Paul, Minnesota; son, Matthew (Kerry) of Aberdeen; daughter, Sarah Jensen (Joel) of Aberdeen; daughter, Meghan of Norfolk, Virgina; brother, Tim Harr (Pam) of Pickerel Lake; grandchildren: Brandon Johnson, Brett Johnson, Nicholas, Nathan and Allison Harr, Lillian and Elizabeth Jensen; great-grandchildren, Easton, Wyatt and Oliver Johnson, all of Aberdeen.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, John and Margaret Klee Harr.
Jim's Liturgical Wake will be live streamed at https://www.sacredheartaberdeen.net/
To send flowers to James' family, please visit our floral store.