CommunitySuper Seniors


Super Senior: Don Harr still helping others at age 100

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Posted at 6:35 PM, Jun 24, 2024

Dr. Don Harr is a member of the Greatest Generation, a World War II veteran who at the age of 100 is still making a difference in his community.

“I encourage people to have a healthy purpose, a reason, a goal to continue working toward and being able to feel the satisfaction of what that purpose can accomplish,” he says.

And that describes the way Don lives his life. He’s long made helping others a purpose and passion.

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One way is by facilitating a grief support group for those struggling with the loss of a loved one.

“We are thankful for Don’s ability to help guide us give us the strength and the courage and the optimism we need to continue,” says Susan Lubbers, who lost her husband about two years ago.

Don is also active in the Cross Community Reconciliation Project, a diverse group that focuses on reducing racial discrimination and increasing empathy and understanding.

“He’s really been my mentor and he’s been a mentor for many people around the community,” says Mike Yakawich, who has worked with Don on several community issues over the years.

“He is humorous, He is funny, but at times he can be very serious. He talks about race relations and how people often are racist because they are fearful and we can break down those barriers, says Yakawich.

Don has certainly seen a lot in his 100 years. He grew up in Kansas where he went through both the Depression and the Dust Bowl.

“It was a good learning experience,“ he says.

And later he would serve as a U.S. Marine in World War II for three years.

“I had the good fortune again, which was another learning experience, of having the idea about listing in the Marines to see what World War II was like,” he says.

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He found out how dangerous that could be when arriving in Guam and nearly being hit by a sniper’s bullet.

“So, he missed me by about six inches from where it hit a tank over my head. So, I lived through that. That was a learning experience,” he laughs.

It was after war that Don’s life took another fortunate turn at a college professor’s suggestion, who suggested that he study psychiatry.

“I said, psychiatry what’s that?” he says.

It would become his life’s calling. He worked as a psychiatrist in Billings until he finally retired at his wife’s urging at the age of 85—or he says he might have kept at it even longer.

And he still does some counseling here in his home at no charge.

“I figure with all these years of experience why let it go to waste. Might as well put it to use in helping people. I get paid with the satisfaction of helping,” he says.

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A healthy purpose that keeps this 100-year-old going strong.

“No one could have better fortunate experience than I have had,” Don says.

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