Wes Harker was born on May 15, 1933, in Sioux City, Iowa, the first of four children born to George Wesley Harker, Sr., and Ella Margaret Johannsen, of Denison, Iowa.
He grew up on the family farm in Denison, along with his brothers John and Lee and sister, Jean. He graduated from Denison High School then entered University of Iowa where he was elected President of Omicron Chapter, Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. Upon graduating from UI, he began his military training in the U.S. Navy with NOC 38-55, 38 Cadets being the first class where all members held college degrees, and earning his aviator designation as helicopter pilot and Naval Officer in Pensacola, Fl., before being transferred to San Diego.
After completing his military service, he remained in San Diego, where he began his civilian career as a stock broker then entering the insurance industry along with commercial property investing. He was employed by Willis H. Fletcher Co. and later opened his own agency, The Harker Company.
During that time, Wes served as President, Independent Insurance Agents Assoc.of San Diego; President, San Diego Junior Chamber of Commerce; President, San Diego Apartment Assoc. and President, California Apartment Assoc. His public service included Environmental Appeals Board, Housing Advisory Board, Mayors’ Balanced Community Task Force all for the City of San Diego; and Vice-President for Grace Lutheran Developments.
Wes was an avid reader, belonging to his Mens’ Book Club for 33 years, and he also loved to write; publishing his biography, “Heading Home: An Iowa Boy’s Adventure” in 2014.
He loved exploring and camping in Baja and in his younger years caravaned with several families every Easter vacation. His passion was duck hunting in Cuyamaca and San Elijo Slough with Wig Fletcher then in Baja with his good friend Paul Petit. With his hunting days in the past, he continued to travel to Baja exploring with a group of friends who became known as the Old Men of Baja group.
Wes was an avid San Diego Charger fan and held season tickets from Balboa Stadium to Qualcomm.
As a young teenager, Wes contracted polio, but with great heart and determination he was able to enjoy life to the fullest. In his later years, it was that heart and post-polio syndrome that would finally take his life.
Wes is survived by his spouse, Bonnie, sons Thomas Wesley of Arlington, VA., Peter Willis of Camas, WA. and daughter Amy Elizabeth Rosskopf (Chris) of San Diego, brothers John Vincent of Lake Oswego, Or., Lee Allen (Jill) of Omaha, Ne., grandchildren Adrian, Evan, Malcom and Edward Harker, Matthew and Drew Harker and Sage and Kristen Rosskopf. He was predeceased by his sister, Jean Tussing of Lincoln, NE. He also leaves behind nephews, nieces, first wife, Mary, and many friends.
Services will be held Thursday, February 28, 2019, 2:30 p.m. at Miramar National Cemetery, 5795 Nobel Dr., San Diego, CA 92122. His celebration of life will follow immediately at the New Frontier Clubhouse, 9255 No, Magnolia Ave., Santee, CA. 92071