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RADM, David L. Harlow, USN, Ret.

RADM, David L. Harlow, USN, Ret.

March 4, 1932 - October 16, 2018     Age: 86

Rear Admiral David L. Harlow passed away from complications of a stroke on October 16, 2018 at Quality Health on Amelia Island, FL.  He was born March 4, 1932 in The Bronx, New York.  He was the first of four children of Margaret and Louis Harlow.  He graduated from All Hallows High School in 1949 and was later inducted to that school’s Hall of Fame.  He attended Manhattan College, the US Coast Guard Academy, Naval Postgraduate School, and George Washington University for his MBA.

In July 1952 he entered Navy flight training at Pensacola, FL receiving his commission in 1953.   His early experience was in operational squadrons of the Pacific fleet and as a training command flight instructor, where he enjoyed teaching several of his former classmates from the USCGA how to fly.  He served as Catapult and Arresting Gear Officer aboard the USS Kearsarge and was on the staff of The Chief of Naval Operations in Shore Activities Military Construction Program Development. He was Commanding Officer of a Training Squadron for initial carrier landing qualifying, and served as Air Boss aboard the USS Midway.  After this Viet Nam tour, he reported to the Chief of Naval Personnel as Naval Officer Assignment Comptroller and was selected to be Executive Assistant/Senior Aide to the Vice Chief of Naval Operations. In 1977 he was selected to be Commanding Officer, North Island Naval Air Station at San Diego, CA.

He was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral in 1979 and named Commander Sea-Based Anti – Submarine Warfare Wings Atlantic Fleet, Jacksonville FL.  Admiral Harlow returned to Washington DC in 1981 as Director of Navy Manpower, Personnel and Training Budgets at the Bureau of Naval Personnel. In 1982 he became Deputy Chief of Naval Personnel and the first Commander of the Naval Military Personnel Command. In 1986 Harlow reported as Chief of Naval Technical Training at Naval Air Station, Memphis, TN and served there until retiring from the Navy in 1988.

Admiral Harlow transitioned to higher education by becoming the Executive Vice President, then Chancellor, of Rhodes College, Memphis, TN, from 1990 to 1998.  In these positions he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of all college divisions.  From 2000-2004 he came out of retirement to serve as president of Jacksonville University, Jacksonville, FL. 

Although the military and higher education were his life’s work, he devoted himself to many organizations to better the communities in which he lived.  He served on local boards of the United Way, Boy Scouts of America, Literacy Foundation, Brooks Museum of Art, Future Memphis, Memphis Rotary, Tennessee Independent Colleges and University, Nassau County MOAA and the Amelia Island Museum of History.  He also enjoyed golfing with friends and family, travel and playing with his many canine companions.

Admiral Harlow and Peggy, his wife of 32 years, have lived on Amelia Island since 2004.  Between them they have two sons (Mark and Evan Harlow), one daughter (Tracy and her husband Wesley Kucera) and two grandchildren (Alex and Rachel Kucera).  Additional survivors include his sister, Margaret Strain, and his brother Louis. His sister Jane died in 1997.

 A memorial service for Admiral Harlow will be held at 2:00 pm, Saturday, October 27, 2018 in the Burgess Chapel of Oxley-Heard Funeral Directors, Fernandina Beach, FL. His cremated remains will be laid to rest with full military honors at Jacksonville National Cemetery at a later date. 

The family asks donations be made, in his memory, to the Wounded Warrior Project, 4899 Belfort Rd Suite 300, Jacksonville, FL 32256

7 Condolences

  • James L. Fear,Captain, USCG, Retired Posted October 19, 2018 4:25 pm

    Rest in Peace, Dave. You have done well and we will miss you.

  • CDR James C. Biernesser, USN (rET) Posted October 21, 2018 2:02 pm

    Rest in Peace, Admiral. It was an honor being in the same Navy as you. Smooth Winds and Following Seas, Sir

  • RADM Thomas L. Malone USN Retired Posted October 22, 2018 7:04 am

    David you were a good man and friend .

  • Rear Admiral W. W. Pickavance USN (Ret) Posted October 22, 2018 11:46 am

    Admiral…you were a great Air Boss and Officer/Gentleman during the longest combat cruise (USS MIDWAY…209 days on the line in combat ’72-’73) in Naval History! As a junior officer in an attack squadron I was always amazed at your patience and your leadership!! Rest in peace Sir!!!

  • Maggie and Joe Carlson Posted October 22, 2018 4:12 pm

    Truly, the term “an officer and a gentleman” applies to this fine man. He wii be missed.
    Our deepest condolences,Peggy.

  • Trish Dooley Posted October 22, 2018 6:36 pm

    I a am so sorry for your loss and know what a terrific guy he was,, especially when it came to the Museum. Sending my condolences,

  • Dickie and Shelly Anderson Posted October 27, 2018 9:18 am

    Blessed to have know such a talented and special man.

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