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Mining president was avid golfer, people person

Jacob Tierney
| Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, 11:00 p.m.
William Harbaugh
William Harbaugh

William Harbaugh was a sharp dresser, engrossing storyteller and keen golfer.

“He loved being around people, he was a real people person. He would walk into a room and light up in a smile,” his friend Al Smith of Greensburg said.

Thanks to golf, Mr. Harbaugh was a member of five country clubs, four in Western Pennsylvania and one in Florida. He loved to share his love of the sport with friends.

“The day I got married, Bill ... decided we needed to play golf. So he brought me and my whole wedding party out, and about 12 of us played golf at the country club,” Smith said.

William Lutz Harbaugh, 77, of Greensburg and Wellington, Fla., died Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017.

He was born Aug. 17, 1940, the son of the late Edward and Mary Elizabeth Harbaugh.

Until his retirement in 2015, he was president of Burrell Mining Products Inc. in New Kensington, which manufactures concrete foam blocks used to seal abandoned areas of mines.

“He was very smart business-wise. He was real meticulous about financial matters,” said his wife of 40 years, Claudia Harbaugh.

Mr. Harbaugh was kind and generous with everyone he met, his wife said.

“He was very romantic, and very sweet. I know he loved me very much,” she said.

Mr. Harbaugh traveled the world for work, visiting England, South Africa, France and Australia. And wherever he went he would make friends and stay in touch with them long after.

“We'd be sitting around and he'd get a call, and all of a sudden it was, ‘Hey, mate, how are you doing?' ” Smith said.

He was able to get along with any crowd.

“He was just as comfortable sitting with the corporate leaders and sitting with the miners,” Smith said.

The Harbaughs established a scholarship at Penn State New Kensington.

“He said, ‘I made all my money in New Kensington, and I want to give back to New Kensington,' ” Mrs. Harbaugh said.

He was an Air Force veteran, past master of Philanthropic Masonic Lodge 225 and former president of the Greensburg Country Club.

In addition to his wife, Claudia, Mr. Harbaugh is survived by his sister, Joanne Godon.

Friends will be received 3 to 7 p.m. Friday in Kepple-Graft Funeral Home, 524 N. Main St., Greensburg. Services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday in the funeral home. Members of Greensburg Lodge 225 will conduct Masonic services at 6:45 p.m. Friday in the funeral home.

Private entombment will be in Westmoreland County Memorial Park.

Memorials may be made to the William and Claudia Harbaugh Trustee Scholarship at Penn State New Kensington, 3500 Seventh Street Road, New Kensington, PA 15068, or to the Humane Society of Westmoreland County, P.O. Box 1552, Greensburg, PA 15601.

Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6646, jtierney@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Soolseem.

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