Sky Scene 05

Robert L. Harman

January 28, 1940 ~ January 1, 2024 (age 83) 83 Years Old

Robert Harman Obituary

Robert L. Harman, 83, of Lahmansville, WV, died on Monday, January 1, 2024, at the Grant Rehabilitation and Care Center in Petersburg. He was born January 28, 1940, in Cumberland, MD, and was the son of Ralph E. and Helen Louise Boor Harman. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Nancy Lee Harman and his brother Ralph E. Harman II. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Jo Ann Snyder Harman; his two sons: Kenton Snyder Harman and daughter-in-law Lisa, and Brenton Robert Harman and daughter-in-law Becky, both of  Lahmansville;  five grandchildren:  Johanna Rohrbaugh and grandson-in-law Jami of Lahmansville, Evan Harman of Centreville, VA, Mikala Harman and companion Eric Wilt, Lauren Harman, and Allison Harman all of Lahmansville; three great-granddaughters: Addaleigh and Evaleigh Rohrbaugh and Emilia Wilt. In addition are two step-granddaughters and seven step-great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, John Harman and sister-in-law Corena, Gettysburg, PA; sisters Sue Carole Harman Wieneke of Raleigh NC; and Ann Louise Harman Longbon and brother-in-law Gavin of Petersburg; as well as several nieces and nephews and their families.

Bob graduated from Petersburg High School in 1958, and was a graduate of Potomac State College where he played basketball, Fairmont State College, and George Washington University, Washington, DC, where he received a MBA in Health Care Administration.  After a residency at Prince George’s General Hospital in Cheverly, MD, he was employed as Administrator/CEO at Grant Memorial Hospital in Petersburg from January 1, 1965, to December 31, 2010.  His 46-year career was recognized by the American College of Healthcare Executives as “the longest tenured hospital CEO on record in the United States.” He was presented the American flag which was flown over the United States Capitol in his honor, and Gov. Bob Wise presented the Distinguished West Virginian Award to him.

He was a member of the WV Hospital Association Board of Trustees and served as Chairman of the Board in 1978-80 and 1997-98. He was instrumental in the formation of the Committee on Small and Rural Hospitals within the association and served as chairman from 1983-89. He received the WVHA Excellence in Leadership Award in 1994 and 2004.

In 1974 he served as Delegate to the American Hospital Association and served on the Regional Advisory Board for several terms. He also served as a member of AHA’s Advisory Panel on Small and Rural Hospitals, and member and chairman of the Governing Council of the Section on Small and Rural Hospitals.  He was appointed to the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health.  He was awarded the 2006 AHA Board of Trustees Award, their 2008 Senior Level Healthcare Executive Regent’s Award, and was recognized in 2010 for “A Career of Outstanding Leadership.”  Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin named him a Distinguished West Virginian in 2010.  He was a Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives.

In 2014 he was interviewed by the American Hospital Association.  The resulting 36-page document was published by the Center for Hospital and Healthcare Administration History and Health Research & Educational Trust.  It is entitled ROBERT L. HARMAN In First Person: An Oral History. He was recognized as a Director Emeritus of the WV Center for Rural Health Development after serving on their board for eleven years.  In 2023 he was honored to be a part of both the flag raising and ribbon-cutting ceremonies when Grant Memorial Hospital became a full member of the WVU Health System.

Bob was an active member of the Petersburg Presbyterian Church where he was an elder, trustee, and treasurer and a member of the choir since he was a teenager. Other memberships included the Board of Governors for Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College; Board of Trustees, E. A. Hawse Health; Grant County Ambulance Authority; Grant County Planning Commission; Grant Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, Petersburg Lodge #145 A.F. and A.M. (Past Master); Petersburg Chapter #146 Order of the Eastern Star (Past Patron); Grant County Arts Council; Patterson Creek Ruritan Club; Grant County Historical Society, and associate member of the WV Association of Retired School Employees and the Grant County Association of Retired School Employees.

Bob valued family immensely and cherished the activities and accomplishments of his grandchildren. His great-grandchildren always brought a smile when they greeted him as “Bobby.” He enjoyed farming, watching television, and reading historical fiction. Throughout his life he was an advocate for health care, education, and community improvement.

The memorial service will be livestreamed. The link is

The viewing will be Friday, January 5, from 6:00-8:00 at Schaeffer Funeral Home. The service will be Saturday, January 6, at 10:00 AM at the Petersburg Presbyterian Church with Rev. Kevin Channell and Rev. Rich Cardot officiating.  Burial will be at the Lahmansville Cemetery. The Petersburg Lodge #145 A.F. and A.M. will conduct graveside services.

The family suggests memorial donations be made to the Petersburg Presbyterian Church, 20 North Main Street, Petersburg, WV 26847 or the Robert L. Harman Scholarship, Grant Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, P.O. Box 668, Petersburg, WV 26847.

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January 5, 2024

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Schaeffer Funeral Home
11 North Main Street
Petersburg, WV 26847

Funeral Service
January 6, 2024

10:00 AM
Petersburg Presbyterian Church
20 North Main Street
Petersburg, WV 26847


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