Art Harberts 1926 to 2014

Sad news. My dad, Arthur Stanley Harberts, died this week. He was 87. The obituary I wrote for my best friend, Dust Bowler, husband and dad reads as such:

My dad Art Harberts on his 87th birthday. He never was much of a cake man so I just put the candles on a bottle of his favorite whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Black Label. He died at home surrounded by his family.

Art Harberts, son of William and Lydia (nee Schmidt) Harberts, died of old age on February 26, 2014.

Art was born in Grundy Center, Iowa in 1926. After his family’s savings was lost, his family moved to Chickasha, Oklahoma to look for work. His father, a Presbyterian minister, found employment at a local church. The pay was sporadic. The family lost their home to foreclosure. In 1936, at the depth of the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, the Harberts “blew out” to California. Traveling by DeSoto, they headed West. Crowding the route were thousands of fellow Okies looking for employment. Art – age 10 – paid the $13 fuel bill to Bakersfield, California with his paper route money.

After high school, Art attended Berkeley University on a V-12 academic scholarship. He majored in Naval Engineering. Later, he attended medical school in Heidelberg, Germany, Montpellier, France and Bern, Switzerland. He met his life’s love and future wife Lislott Blatter in Bern.

Upon completing his US Army service in France, Art and Lislott moved to Seattle, Washington. In 1972, Art, Lislott and their two young sons, Christian and Bernard, moved to Statesville, North Carolina. He was a practicing OBGYN at Davis Hospital and Statesville Medical Group until his retirement.

After retiring Art enjoyed volunteering at Allison Woods Foundation with Lislott. His hobbies included sawing lumber, building slab furniture and constructing a retirement cabin. He also enjoyed sailing with his son Bernard and visiting his grandchildren Alvin and Laura in France. He credits a good family and “two fingers” of Jack Daniels whiskey for his long and full life. Swiss cigars were his occasional vice. He says they reminded him of the Alpine farmers he enjoyed visiting during the years he courted Lislott in Switzerland.

His final wish was to see the apples bloom on the family farm.

Art’s wife Lislott died in 2012. He is survived by his sons Christian (Paris, France), Bernard (Caldwell County, NC) and sister-in-law Ursula Daniel (Washington, DC).

Art was cremated. A private memorial is scheduled for a later date.

2014-03-06 23:50:39


Please accept my sympathy for your Loss.

Sending warm thought, MaryAnna

Connie Cassidy
2014-03-07 12:26:02


I am sorry to hear of the loss of your good father. I know how very difficult this time is for you. I hope you will accept my deepest condolences. I am sending gentle thoughts into the Cosmos for you, in the hope that you will find a measure of comfort.

Paula Wald
2014-03-07 12:43:04

Hi Bernie,

I haven’t checked your website for ages and for some reason felt compelled to see what you were up to yesterday, the day of your posting about your father’s death. I’m so sorry to read that sad news. Your father sounded like a wonderful person. Thanks for sharing the obituary and the photo. I join your many Riverearth friends in sending warm thoughts your way.

J Carpenter
2014-03-10 10:23:08

Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.
– Martin Luther

Enjoy good memories.
J Carpenter

Pam Woolbright
2014-03-15 01:34:34

“I’ve come to think that’s what heaven is—a place in the memory of others where our best selves live on.” Christina Baker Kline

So sorry to hear of the death of your father.

Andy and Zoe
2014-03-16 17:02:14

We are very sorry to hear of your loss. Know that you are in our thoughts.

A and Z

2014-03-17 15:09:21

My dear old friend , so very sorry to hear your Dad has left. What wonderful memories he left you with . A treasured gift that will remain with you for the rest of your life . You will be in my thoughts for many days to come. Always love , Jen Majette

Fuller’s mom
2014-03-20 08:54:21

So sorry to hear about your Dad’s passing. He blessed you with many good memories. His love and respect for life was immense. Know that I’ve missed you and you are in my heart always.

Lorie Thursday, March 20, 2014

Pam Valente
2014-03-20 17:57:55

Hi, we’ve corresponded by email before. I just finished your book and decided to check in on you. My sincerest sympathy on the passing of your father. What an interesting and adventurous guy he sounds like. You must have gotten your wanderlust from your parents. You’ll find the right place for it in time. Sail on, Art and Lislott.

Claudia Messier
2014-04-02 03:33:31

Dear Bernie,

I do not know you, or your father, but it sounds as though he lived an amazing life, as do you. Please accept my sincere condolences.

Claudia Messier

2014-04-03 15:15:58

Dear Friends,
The whirlwind of activity following my father’s death has filled the void that usually follows such departures. I thank each one of you for your thoughts and messages. It’s these that I turn to when I miss my dad – and the calm – in these bumpy days.
See you out there.

Lynda & Joe Campbell
2014-04-18 17:10:26


We checked your website a few minutes ago. We are so sad. Our thoughts are with you at this time.

Capt’n Nat
2014-04-29 16:01:13

Hey Bernie,

I’m so sorry for your loss my friend. From the obit I can see he lived a full life, and I am sure he was proud of his Bernard (Bernie)! I hope for you the very best and that you will weather the storm until the seas become calm.

Peace to you and your family! Stay in touch so I can follow your new adventures.

Happy and Safe Waters!
Capt’n Nat

2014-05-16 09:52:36

Hi Bernie,

Another chapter ends and many more still to be written. Change can be hard, change can mean opportunities, change keeps us moving forward. Sorry for your losses over the last eighteen months. It is not to know you are a man of resilience and will keep turning the pages of the book of life with eagerness.


Jon Morris
2014-05-29 20:48:59

Hi Bernie,
Not sure if you will remember me; I am the one that found you at NCSU and brought you to those Germans at Weinig…Which you soon gave up for your first adventure of sailing around the world.
So sorry to hear the loss of your father it sounds like he lived a very full life also.

You have come a long way young man. I am sure your dad was mighty proud.
Best wishes, Jon

Jim Smith
2014-08-26 22:46:37

Hi Bernie, 8-26-14

Was sitting here and somehow got talking about your folks and you and your brother with my son and his lady friend and we looked up your website and became aware of your folks passing.

A bit of a shock to hear about them—we had such great times with them while they were in Bellevue.

I remember the Christmas Eve dinners with the cold oyster stew and ham cooked in bread dough. And the tree with real candles and a pail of sand just in case.

How is your German?

Remember I invited you to Seattle but so far you haven’t tried out Washington—its not too late!

May the force be with you!

Cousin Jim— born Schmitt!

2014-09-05 12:48:47

Dear Cousin Jim,
So good to hear from you. I’m slowly getting used to life with out my folks. They were an amazing source of stories (Swiss and Dust Bowl) and quirks (real Christmas candles and a bucket of sand next to the tree).
I guess it rubbed off. I’m still balancing those white candles on my December red cedar. I’ve done away with the sand as, in 45 years, I never saw a tree go up in flames.
Fond memories.
I hope you all are well. Don’t count out my visiting Seattle on a whim. It’s never too late to win some new Yule tide lighting converts.
Cheers, Bernie

Karla Moore
2014-12-17 15:26:23

So sorry to hear about your loss. It has been a while since I had looked at your site. So hard to lose our loved ones, as well as our four legged ones!
God bless you.


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