Billy “Bill” Gilbert Harmon (95)

Carm, Illinois
Birth: January 14, 1924
Death: August 6, 2019

Bill G. Harmon, 95, of Carmi, Illinois, died Tuesday, August 6, 2019, in Carmi.  He was born January 14, 1924, in Muskogee, Oklahoma, the son of Ed and Opal Harmon.  He was married to Martha Joanne Dawson Harmon on June 17, 1944, and she preceded him in death on August 14, 2002.

He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Carmi and was a World War II Army veteran and recipient of the Purple Heart medal.   After graduating from Purdue University in 1948 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering, he moved to the Carmi area where he worked for Superior Oil Company and later for Summit Oil and Gas Corporation.  For a short time (1951-1953) he was an independent well-site geologist.

Bill was well-known in the Illinois Oil Basin for his establishment and operation of various oil and gas related service businesses including Di-Kor (well coring service) and Harmon Service and Equipment Company (established in 1954). His businesses provided services and/or products to the oil and gas industry throughout the Northeastern United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Japan (not bad for an ‘Okie from Muskogee’!).  In 1983, he sold both businesses.  Other business ventures included Tri-Valley Builders, Inc. and Crossville Machine and Tool Company.  He was one of the original directors of Elastec, Inc. which provides environmental services world-wide.

Bill was very active and served in various positions in many professional organizations.  Some of them include: Society of Petroleum Engineers, when serving as general chairman, he helped form the Illinois Basin Chapter; board member of the Illinois Oil and Gas Association; chairman of Illinois Basin Chapter of American Petroleum Institute; Illinois delegate to Interstate Oil Compact Commission; chairman of Tri-State Association of Petroleum Engineers; vice chairman of Independent Oil Producers and Land Owners Association; member of both the Indiana and Kentucky Oil and Gas associations; member of Illinois Geological Society; member of Indiana-Kentucky Geological Society; member of Independent Petroleum Association of America and sponsor/supporter of the Tri-State Chapter of Desk and Derrick Club.  He also was active with the Carmi Kiwanis Club; the White County Historical Society; New Harmony Historical Society and the Workingman’s Institute.

Survivors include daughters Deborah Porter of Belleville, Illinois, and Linda Wright of Pensacola, Florida; also, step-grandsons Rod Porter and Troy Porter.  He was preceded in death by his parents, wife and sister Carolyn Crabtree.

Visitation is 5-8 p.m. Friday, August 9, 2019, at Cook Funeral Home in Carmi.  Funeral is 12:00 noon, Saturday, August 10, 2019, at Cook Funeral Chapel with burial in White County Memorial Gardens.

Memorials may be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Carmi and will be accepted at Cook Funeral Chapel – or – Rapp-Owen Granary Foundation, PO Box 371, New Harmony, IN 47631


Visitation: Cook Funeral Chapel - Carmi - Friday, August 9, 2019, 5-8 pm
Service: Cook Funeral Chapel - Carmi - Saturday, August 10, 2019, 12 noon
Burial: White County Memorial Gardens - Carmi, Illinois
Memorials: First Presbyterian Church, c/o, Cook Funeral Chapel, 101 Edgewood Lane, Carmi, IL 62821 - or - Rapp-Owen Granary Foundation, PO Box 371, New Harmony, IN 47631

6 thoughts on “Billy “Bill” Gilbert Harmon”

  1. Girls,
    Judy and I are gone so unfortunately will miss your Dad’s service. As you both know, I have known Bill my entire life. A great guy and accomplished businessman. A definite pillar of our community. He will be missed. Please keep in contact.


    Jimmy Gaines

  2. What a heck of a guy. I had the pleasure of working for Bill in the early 80’s. Bill was the most forward thinking individual I’ve ever been around. If you think you knew the answer, just wait–Bill would come up with 7 more answers, and usually more questions. It was a great way to start my business career, and for that, I’ll always be thankful. In 1994, we moved back to Carmi, in Bill’s neighborhood no less. Many evenings on his walk, he’d stop by and we solve the world’s problems—I sure enjoyed those visits. Rest well Mr. Bill—see you on the other side.

  3. Felipe A. La Rotta

    I first met Bill when he started promoting Elastec and came to Houston to show their new invention. Bill was a pleasant gentleman, always with a smile in his face, always offering his help. After becoming an Elastec’s dealer me and my wife met Bill several times and enjoyed visiting with him. Going to Carmi, I always tried to see Bill and he made the time to chat. Rest in peace dear friend!

  4. Girls,
    I have known your Dad and your Grandmother for years. They were wonderful people. You have my sympathy. He will be missed in the community. His business knowledge was excellent. We will be unable to attend the service as we have moved to Evansville. Will be thinking of you.
    Sandra and Bill Mears.

  5. Linda and Debbie,
    Michael and I are saddened to learn of your Father’s death; our thoughts and prayers are with you at this most difficult time.
    I didn’t realize your Father was awarded a Purple Heart nor that his actual name was Billy! I do know what a caring man he was; I remember well his ministration and protectiveness while your Mother was ill as well as his wonderful Father – Daughter laughter-filled relationships with the two of you. And I treasure the copies of the movies he’d shot that he gave me of you two and me taken while he and my Father were piloting us around the Midwest.
    Another of the Greatest Generation has left us and we are the poorer for it.
    We are sorry that we cannot join you for his services.

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