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Dr. Charles H.S. Harkins, Jr., age 84, of Exton, Pennsylvania, passed away on January 23rd surrounded by his loving family. Dr. Harkins was a 1955 graduate of Marple Newtown where he met the love of his life, Linda Rice, when he was a senior and she a freshman.
Dr. Harkins attended Penn State University, graduating summa cum laude in 1960. He went on to attend University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine. He practiced veterinary medicine in Annville, Pennsylvania for a short time before opening his own practice on South Whitford Road in Exton.
Dr. Harkins, affectionately known as Doc, was a storyteller and many of his stories stemmed from a brief stint as a long-haul tractor trailer driver when he was only 18 years old and from his time as a large animal veterinarian in Annville, where he said he experienced similar misadventures as the author, James Herriot.
He was dedicated to his wife and their 2 children, Wendy Harkins Davis and Sean N. Harkins. He went backpacking on the Appalachian Trail with the Girl Scouts, was an Indian Guide leader, and practiced lacrosse with Wendy and Sean, as well as attended countless swimming events for both. Both Linda and he were leaders in the Folk Group at Grove Methodist Church. He played guitar for the group and together they shared their love of music with Wendy and Sean. He introduced his children to his love of canoeing and took them on numerous weekend-long canoe trips with the Brothers of the Birchbark, a local canoe club, where he made lifelong friends and provided another source of stories for him to share.
His six grandchildren were blessed to have a dedicated cheerleader on the sidelines for all their pursuits no matter if it was late evening ice hockey games, cold and windy or blistering hot weather for soccer and lacrosse games, long track meets just to see a minute-long race, voice recitals, or dance recitals. He didn’t want to miss a moment of enjoying his grandchildren and their joy, whatever that entailed.
Dr. Harkins is survived by his wife, Linda Rice, and his children’s families, Wendy and her husband, Evan, and their four children, Graham, Caroline, Clark and Stuart, and Sean and his wife, Jennifer, and their 2 children, Madeline and Teagan.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made to Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) which helps older Pennsylvanians and those with disabilities to acquire assistive technology to help them get out and enjoy life! Visit patf.us for more information or to donate online. Donations may also be sent to Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation, 1004 West 9th Avenue, King of Prussia, PA 19406 or contact PATF at 484-674-0506.
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