Edgar L. Harlan

February 25, 1931 to November 29, 2020

Edgar L. Harlan, 89 of Altoona, Iowa died November 29, 2020, at Taylor House of complications from Parkinson's/Lewy Body Disease. Due to the Coronavirus restrictions, there will be a private graveside service and a celebration of life will follow at a later date.

Ed was born February 25, 1931, in Anoka County, Minnesota, and grew up in Des Moines, Iowa. As a young man, he proudly served in the U.S. Navy on an aircraft carrier. On December 22, 1951, he married his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Ruth Wilson. Together they raised 2 children and were happily married for nearly 69 years. Ed had a successful thirty-year career with the Des Moines Police Department, retiring as Lieutenant in charge of the Crimes Against Persons Division. As a second career, he used his talents buying, remodeling, and renting properties.

In his spare time, he enjoyed gardening, cooking, his daily get-togethers with friends at the Fairground Hardware Store and monthly lunches with fellow retired Des Moines Police Officers. He was a member of Middle River Friends Church, East Gate Masonic Lodge, Za Ga Zig Shrine, and the Police Burial Association. Ed was extremely proud of and close to his son and daughter. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Family always came first and he loved nothing more than spending time with his children and grandchildren.

Ed is survived by his loving wife, Ruth, his children, Dr. Steven Harlan, wife Chris of Urbandale and Elaine Selden, husband Dave of West Des Moines, grandchildren Matthew, Eric and Emily Harlan, Stephanie Sheckels, Leslie Militello, Elizabeth Dieguez, Brandon and Cade Russell, Dave Selden Jr., Allison Hitchings, Rachel Edwards, fifteen great-grandchildren and his sister, Dolores Bliss of Ankeny, Iowa. He was preceded in death by his mother, Ethel Harlan, two brothers Richard of Portland, Oregon, and Virgil of Des Moines, Iowa and sister Geraldine Poole of Promise City, Iowa. Memorial contributions may be given to Middle River Friends Church in Carlisle or Taylor House, Des Moines.

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