More than 700 remember Harlan at Eccles Center funeral |

More than 700 remember Harlan at Eccles Center funeral

by Jay Hamburger, of The Record staff

An estimated more than 700 people remembered the late Roger Harlan Sunday afternoon during funeral services at the Eccles Center, paying tribute to the former Park City Councilman in a ceremony that touched on Harlan’s public service, his deep religious beliefs and his playfulness.

Speakers recalled Harlan as a striking figure who accepted people as they were and was a hero to others. Harlan, who died Tuesday at 74 years old following open-heart surgery, was a man of integrity, people who knew him well said on Sunday.

"We’re just going to miss the big fella," said TJ Dickerson, an official with Young Life, the Christian youth organization where Harlan spent much of his career, calling Harlan a "hero."

Dickerson recounted Young Life bus trips with Harlan and the kids to Southern California and a Neil Diamond concert they went to together. He said Harlan once turned pale after a ride on a roller coaster with the Young Life kids.

With the casket nearby, the speakers offered stories from their time knowing Harlan. Mayor Dana Williams said Harlan once missed a meeting because he wanted to be in Philadelphia for a Bruce Springsteen concert. Williams said Harlan sometimes resembled a "12-year-old mischievous child." He also noted Harlan’s dedication to youth and recreation issues, with the mayor mentioning the skateboard park at City Park as being a part of Harlan’s legacy. Williams said City Hall plans to rename the skateboard park in Harlan’s honor.

The crowd included City Councilors, both seated ones and former ones, numerous City Hall staffers and Summit County officials.

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