Cover photo for Gary Harter's Obituary
1938 Gary 2023

Gary Harter

July 8, 1938 — November 7, 2023

CAPT Gary Harter, US Navy (Ret) - Flew into unknown skies November 7, 2023, at the age of 85 in Albuquerque, NM from complications of COVID related pneumonia. Born in Muscatine, IA in 1938, Gary was a natural athlete who married his high school sweetheart in 1959 and entered US Navy training eventually earning his Wings of Gold. He flew the EC-121 Willy Victor for many years before becoming a Carrier Pilot who flew the A-4 Skyhawk and A-7 Corsair II serving multiple tours in Vietnam and the Mediterranean Sea and commanded two Light Attack Squadrons (VA-215 Barn Owls and VA-147 Argonauts).

Gary's faithful and courageous Naval service included many decorations: the Distinguished Flying Cross, 18 Strike/Flight Air Medals, the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V", the Navy Unit Commendation and various campaign medals.

After retiring from 32 years of dedicated service, Gary's focus became his family, friends, pets, traveling and playing all manner of board/card games. He was an avid racquetball and tennis player who continued to play competitively well into his eighties.

He is survived by Patti of Albuquerque, his wife of 63 years, son Douglas of Chicago, Il, son Jeffrey and his wife Lisa of Goodyear, AZ, granddaughters Tegan, Amanda and Morgan, four great grandchildren, sister Patsy Rechterman, et al.

Deep in his heart, Gary was a rare combination of warrior and family man who will be sorely missed. In keeping with his selfless nature, a family viewing will be held in lieu of service. Gary would want us to remind everyone to cherish and take great care of their families and pets.


To send flowers to the family in memory of Gary Harter, please visit our flower store.


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