Resolution J1246-2013

Mourning the death of The Honorable Robert A. Harlem, distinguished citizen and devoted member of his community



  • Apr 17, 2013: ADOPTED
  • Apr 12, 2013: REFERRED TO FINANCE


LEGISLATIVE  RESOLUTION  mourning  the  death of The Honorable Robert A.
Harlem, distinguished citizen and devoted member of his community

WHEREAS, The State of New York is deeply saddened by  the  loss  of  its
esteemed residents and distinguished public servants; and
  WHEREAS, Former New York State Supreme Court Judge Robert A. Harlem of
Oneonta,  New  York,  and  a winter resident of Venice, Florida, died on
Thursday, September 13, 2012, at the age of 86; and
  WHEREAS, Born on Flag Day, June 14, 1926, in New York City,  to  Helen
(Goetz) and Leroy Harlem, Robert A. Harlem was very patriotic and exhib-
ited  his love of his country by wearing a United States flag pin almost
every day; and
  WHEREAS, He was raised in Yonkers the second oldest of five  children;
despite  losing his father as a young boy, he did not let that deter him
from obtaining his education and pursuing his dreams; and
  WHEREAS, Robert A. Harlem served his country as a member of the United
States Army; and
  WHEREAS, He graduated from Champlain College, and in 1953, he moved to
the Oneonta area after graduating from Albany Law School; he then joined
the law firm of Harrington and Bookhout in Oneonta, New York; and
  WHEREAS, Robert A.  Harlem's  unmatched  oratorical  skills,  prolific
writing abilities, mental agility and passion for the law enabled him to
become  a most revered litigator; he was a lawyer's lawyer; still trying
cases into his early 80s, his legal career spanned six decades; and
  WHEREAS, This distinguished attorney worked as a trial lawyer, a judge
and in private practice; he was  elected  Otsego  County  and  Surrogate
Court  Judge  in 1972; he was nominated for state supreme court in 1978,
and subsequently elected to serve the sixth judicial district; and
  WHEREAS, He served as New York State Supreme Court  Justice,  1979  to
1991;  as  Otsego  County Surrogate Court Judge, 1975 to 1978; as Otsego
County attorney; and town attorney during the 1950s  through  the  1970s
for many surrounding towns until he became surrogate court judge; and
  WHEREAS,  In  1991,  Judge Robert A. Harlem retired from the bench and
practiced law with his son, Richard A. Harlem; and
  WHEREAS, Robert A. Harlem's commitment to excellence, and  his  spirit
of humanity, carried over into all fields of enterprise, including char-
itable and civic endeavors; and
  WHEREAS,  He incorporated the Oneonta Boys and Girls Club in 1964, and
served on its board; served as the attorney for the Goodyear Lake  Asso-
ciation  and was instrumental in saving the lake from being drained; and
attorney for the Holy Name Society and the Newman House; and
  WHEREAS, A congregant of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church,  Robert  A.
Harlem  served as a Grande Knight (Knights of Columbus); a member of the
Fox Hospital Foundation; founding member and chairman  of  the  board-O-
neonta  Indians  Football Club; and the Oneonta Country Club, serving as
both a director and president; he was very proud that he "shot his  age"
beginning in his 70s; and
  WHEREAS,  Furthermore,  Robert  A.  Harlem was a trustee for the Elks;
guest conductor for UCCCA; Otsego County Chamber of Commerce Citizen  of
the  Year;  supporter of St. Mary's School, Orpheus Theater and Hartwick
College; member Advisory Board for the Boys' and Girls' Clubs of Saraso-
ta County, Florida; supporter of Bon Secours Hospital;  founding  member
of  the  Community  Foundation  at the Venice Golf and Country Club; and
member of the Board of Directors of the Master Association of the Venice
Golf and Country Club; and
  WHEREAS, Robert A. Harlem is survived by his wife, Irene;  his  former
wife  and  mother  of  his children, Ramona P. Harlem; his six children,

Robert A.  (Barbara) Harlem, Jr., Ramona (Richard) Palermo,  Richard  A.
(Debra)   Harlem,  Rebecca  (John)  Lloyd,  Ruth  Ehrets,  and  Rosemary
(William) Harlem-Wood; eight  grandchildren;  one  brother,  Roy  (Joan)
Harlem;  four  stepchildren,  Charles  (Sue)  Mann, Donald Mann, Kenneth
(Barbara) Mann, and Robert (Karen) Mann; seven  step-grandchildren;  and
six step-great-grandchildren; and
  WHEREAS,  Armed  with  a  humanistic spirit and imbued with a sense of
compassion, Robert A. Harlem leaves behind  a  legacy  which  will  long
endure the passage of time and will remain as a comforting memory to all
he served and befriended; now, therefore, be it
  RESOLVED,  That  this  Legislative  Body pause in its deliberations to
mourn the death of The Honorable Robert A. Harlem, distinguished citizen
and devoted member of his community; and be it further
  RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to the family of The Honorable Robert A. Harlem.


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