Donald Stephen Harcek passed peacefully into the next realm in the early hours of August 10, 2021. Don was born in Owosso, Michigan on December 2, 1931 to Stephen and Mary Harcek, who emigrated from Lidici, Czechoslovakia.
Don’s life was an accomplished one. As a child in Owosso, he fell in love with flying. He flew his first solo flight on his sixteenth birthday with all of St. Paul’s Catholic School cheering him on. He soared to new heights as a Captain in the Air Force flying AT-6 Texans and the B-47 Stratojet, as well as re-training post-World War II Japanese and German pilots.
After graduating from his beloved Michigan State University where he played football, Don embarked on a life of law enforcement. He served with the Michigan State Police and MSU Campus Police Department before becoming Chief of Police of Wyoming Michigan at age 30. In 1969 he became Chief of Police of Midland Michigan until his retirement in 1990. He was always extremely proud of his career. He was a good cop. He truly cared.
Don had an innate fondness of the outdoors. While he enjoyed hunting in his younger years, trout fishing was his life-long passion. A quiet stream was his basilica, nature’s splendor was his fidelity, and his worst day of fishing was magnificent. Don’s other passion was Michigan State Spartan football and basketball. He loved his Spartans! The world loved his sense of humor and his infectious smile. He had a joke for everyone he encountered. Heaven is in for quite a treat….
Don is preceded in death by his parents Stephen George and Mary Elizabeth Harcek and his beloved wife Mary Rachel Harcek. He is survived by his daughter Diane of Texas, daughter Theresa of Michigan, daughter Colleen of Florida, son Michael of Maine, son Thomas of Florida, son Todd of Michigan, daughter Katherine of Michigan, son Mark of Michigan, close friend Mud of Michigan, as well as nine grand-children and seven great grand-children. Don is also survived by Janet (Bigelow) Muir of Michigan who selflessly continues to be a loving mother to all of Don’s children.
End of watch, Chief Harcek. Thank you and Rest in Peace.
A funeral service will be held at 11:00 am on Monday, August 16, 2021 at Smith-Miner Funeral Home with Pastor Don Duford officiating. Friends may visit with the family at the funeral home on Monday from 10 am until the time of service. Burial will take place at St. Paul’s Cemetery in Owosso, Michigan.
Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the Midland City Law Enforcement Outreach.