July 24, 1925 – Sept. 30, 2009
Fred E. Harem passed away peacefully on Sept. 30, 2009, at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis, following an extended and courageous battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 84.
Fred was born July 24, 1925, in Terry, Mont. The third of seven children born to John and Esther Blehschmidt Harem, Fred spent his early years living and working on the family’s cattle ranch outside Terry. In 1936, Fred headed west with his family to Roseburg, where he lived until moving to Eugene in 1941.
Fred enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps, and was called to active duty shortly after his graduation from Eugene High School in 1943. He served in the 490th Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force as a navigator aboard B-17 aircraft flying out of Eye, England.
Upon completing his military service in 1945, Fred returned to Oregon, where he earned a degree in civil engineering from Oregon State University in 1950. He married his college sweetheart, Doris Belknap, in March 1949. In 1950, Fred obtained a teaching fellowship at Yale University and earned a master’s degree in structural engineering from Yale the following year.
In 1951, the family returned to Corvallis, where Fred began his 39-year career with the engineering consulting firm of CH2M Hill. Fred was a vice president and partner at the firm, and was on its board of directors.
He managed numerous water supply engineering projects, and oversaw the design of the Foothills Water Treatment Plant in Denver, Colo. He also worked as project coordinator and director of a nationwide water supply system project for Trinidad, CH2M Hill’s first major foreign project.
In 1984, the couple moved to Alexandria, Egypt, where Fred was project manager and program director of the construction of a wastewater treatment system for the city, one of the firm’s largest foreign projects to date. From 1986 through 1990, he was Vice President, Water and Wastewater Division Manager and Assistant Regional Manager of the firm’s Milwaukee, Wis., office.
Passionate about people and his community, Fred’s 1990 retirement didn’t mean retirement from life or service. He remained active in a number of professional and community organizations and projects, including the American Water Works Association and the CH2M Hill Alumni Center at OSU, and he had served on the board of the Benton County Historical Society.
A Paul Harris Fellow with the Corvallis Rotary Club, Fred was a member of the club’s World Community Service Committee, helping establish an eye care clinic for the residents of the Santa Elena peninsula in Ecuador.
As a longtime member of the First Presbyterian Church of Corvallis, Fred served on numerous committees and governing bodies within the church, including as chairman of the stewardship committee. He was particularly enthusiastic about the church’s current renovation plans and the construction of its Dennis Hall addition.
Fred is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Doris Belknap Harem; son, Greg Harem (Julie) of Woodinville, Wash.; daughters Victoria Chaudhry and Holly Harem, both of Seattle, Wash.; two grandchildren, Kailey and Bryce Harem; sister, Adeline Edelstein; and brothers Dave Harem and Ben Harem.
A celebration of Fred’s life will be at 2 p.m. Oct. 18 at First Presbyterian Church of Corvallis. The family suggests that remembrances be made to Water For People, the Benton County Historical Society, or to a charity of choice.