Harlan Thomas Haller passed away on October 27, 2022 at the age of 98.
He was born in Los Angeles to Thomas Oliver Haller and Marguerite Naomi (Adkins) Haller and grew up in Riverside, California alongside his late sister Aileen Ruth (Haller) Parkes who was four years his junior. His family knew him as Harlan but he preferred to go by his middle name of Thomas and was known professionally as Tom.
Tom attended the Polytechnic High School in Riverside,California followed by the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point class of 1944 where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, he later served in the U.S. Navy as a Lieutenant before heading off to college at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering class of 1951.
He met the love of his life, Jean Alma (Mac Farlane), at Christmastime in New York City while on leave from the Navy. They married in September of 1947 and were married for 66 years until she passed away in 2013. They have three daughters, ten grandchildren and six great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews who survive them both. Tom and Jean lived in many different places throughout their marriage Maryland, Long Island, Massachusetts, New Jersey, California, Washington D.C. and Florida. The native Californian in Tom was happy to land back on the west coast albeit in the San Francisco area the second time around.
Tom’s career spanned decades in the maritime industry beginning as a Marine Superintendent at American Hawaiian Steamship Company in NYC, Marine Superintendent at Philpotts Shipping Agency in NYC, Vice President of Seatrain Lines in NYC, Vice President of Bailey Refrigeration in NYC, Vice President of Marine Operations at American President Lines in Oakland, Ca, and finally an appointment at the Maritime Administration of the U.S. Government (MARAD) as Senior Executive of Ship Construction and Operation in Washington, D.C. He was an expert in his field and was sought after for consulting throughout his entire career and into his retirement.
To say he loved boats and ships was an understatement! He built his own boat as a young man and later owned a beautifully restored 36 foot cabin cruiser that he loved to sail on weekends. He learned to fly in his seventies and bought a Cessna which was a lifelong dream of his. He enjoyed golfing and played almost daily in his retirement. He excelled at crossword puzzles and more recently words with friends. He was an avid reader of scientific journals, mystery novels, and even cookbooks. Being a life-long learner, he was endlessly curious and always trying to reach a deeper understanding of how things worked.
Tom was a member in good standing with many organizations including the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME), the Scottish Rite, Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York, the Marine Square Club, and he served as President of the Society of Marine Port Engineers.
He will be missed tremendously by his loved ones but will live on in our fond memories and hearts forever.
Thompson Memorial Home of Red Bank, NJ has been entrusted with the arrangements.