June 19, 1923 – July 29, 2019
Funeral services for Robert May Harling Jr. will be Saturday, Aug. 3 at 11 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Natchitoches with the Rev. Sara Anne Berger officiating. Interment will follow at Memory Lawn Cemetery in Natchitoches. The family will receive friends from 10-11 a.m. immediately prior to the service at the church.
Robert “Bob” Harling was born June 19, 1923, in Edgefield, S.C. The doctor who delivered Bob came to the Harling residence by horse and buggy. Growing up in the 1920s and 30s, he was smitten with airplanes and dreamed of flying. He joined the Army Air Force in World War II and he frequently said that one of his proudest achievements was when he earned his wings and became a pilot for B-25 Mitchell bombers in WWII.
After the war, Bob attended the University of Georgia and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Forestry. While he was there, he met his wife of 63 years, Margaret. After graduation, he went to work for International Paper Company and retired with them after 35 years.
They had three children, Robert III, Susan and John. Bob’s job with International Paper moved them to numerous places around the southeast. They moved to Natchitoches in 1966, loved the town and stopped moving. In fact, Bob and Margaret were even co-Grand Marshal of the Natchitoches Christmas Festival Parade.
Bob was active in his faith as a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Natchitoches. He was a loving husband and father and loved any time he could spend with his grandchildren, Robert, Susan and Jack. He loved nature and was known for the abundant zinnias and roses that were frequently made available for friends’ flower arrangements.
Those left to cherish his memory include his sons, Robert M. Harling III of Natchitoches and John Forbes Harling and wife Elizabeth of Garland, Texas. Also, Bob had three grandchildren, Robert Patrick Robinson of Atlanta, Ga., John Forbes Harling Jr. of Gainesville, Fla. and Susan Kiturah Harling of Stanford, Calif.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Margaret Jones Harling; daughter, Laura Susan Harling; sisters, Erlene Dorn, Elsie Rodgers and Annie Clair Balchin; and brother, Faulkner Harling.
In lieu of floral contributions, the family requests donations be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Natchitoches, 114 Bienville St., Natchitoches, LA 71457.