PEORIA, Ill.—Ronald E. Harriman, age 71, of Peoria, Ill., passed away Monday, Aug. 12, 2013 at the VA hospital in Danville, Ill. He was born and raised in Pulaski, June 21, 1942, to Nancy Chumbley Harriman and William E. Harriman. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Lee Harriman, his parents, a half-brother and a half-sister.
Survivors include his son, R. Christopher Harriman of Peoria, Ill.; daughter, Pamela Ann Boyd of Alexandria; grandchildren, Austin and Arianna Harrima of Peoria, Ill.; two brothers, Danny (Yvonne) Harriman, of Newbern and Jeff (Chong) Harriman of Roanoke; sister, Doris H. Lawson of Draper, and two half-sisters. Also surviving are numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
In 1960, he joined the United States Marine Corp, and served until 1969, retiring from the military as a SSgt. E6, with total disability from wounds suffered in the Battle of Khe Sanh on Hill “881” in 1968. This was his second tour in Vietnam. Out of nine Marines in his unit, he was the only survivor. He received two Purple Hearts, Navy Commendation Combat V. Medal, National Defense Medal, and Campaign Ribbons include Vietnam Service Medal and Vietnam Campaign Medal.
He attended Pulaski High School, and then attended New River Community College where he earned an associate degree, and later became a counselor at the college. He went on to earn a masters degree in guidance and psychology from Radford University. In 1980, he and his family transferred to Bamberg, Germany, where he continued his work for the Army. After leaving Germany, the family moved to Peoria, Ill., where he retired.
In December of 2009, he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and began the biggest battle of his life. After surgery, he spent most of his remaining days in the care of the VA hospital in Illinois.
A memorial service was held Saturday, Aug. 17, at Swan Lake Memorial Gardens and Mausoleum in Peoria, Ill. Monetary contributions can be made in his memory to the American Cancer Society, or to the VA Illiana Health Care System, 1900 E. Main St. Danville, IL 61832.