Harley J. McLain

Harley McLain, age 62, of Valley City, ND, died Sunday, February 9th at Sanford Health, Fargo, ND. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, February 15 at the Congregational United Church of Christ Church in Valley City. Visitation will be held on Friday from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM at the church and one hour before the service on Saturday morning. A prayer service will be held at 7:00 PM Friday evening at the church. Inurnment will be in Memory Gardens Cemetery near Valley City in the Spring.
Our fun-loving, compassionate, and joyous father, brother, uncle, and friend, Harley James McLain, died unexpectedly Sunday morning, Feb. 9. He was born June 14, 1951 in Mayville, ND, third child to Kathryn and the Rev. Bernard McLain. Harley attended school in Livingston until the family moved to Jamestown, ND, where he graduated from high school and Jamestown College with a degree in English and Political Science. He met Buckminster Fuller and built a geodesic dome where he lived on the family land in Eckelson. He became an organic farmer, champion of peace, landscaper, gifted carpenter, and ran for President, Congressman, and Agricultural Commissioner with the Natural People’s League or NPL, among other offices. His slogans were: I am a man “out standing in my field” or “Organic is more Orgasmic.” His brilliant wit, charm, and vibrancy were reflected in the songs he wrote. He always seemed to have a guitar or good book in hand. Harley met Julie Goeller at a Democratic convention and they later married in 1983. She was the love of his life- they were gemini twins, both born in June, and a truly memorable pair. They had 3 children who grew up surrounded in an incredibly creative and loving atmosphere. Harley enjoyed so many activities with his kids: sledding, watching the northern lights and the stars, picking flowers, playing songs for birthday parties and with his kids, telling stories, going to parks, camping, and taking walks on the land where he farmed. Harley and Julie had a greenhouse and nursery, Shy Soo Nursery, in Valley City for many years, and their landscaping can be seen in numerous communities and along highways across the state. Harley was an active member of the Congregational Church and the sense of social justice that was instilled in him by his parents showed through in his life's endeavors. He was an outrageous actor in the community theater, a talented carpenter and an advocate and practitioner of natural and spiritual health and healing. He treasured his friendships and family members by lighting up their lives with a song, a twinkle in his eye, and a good Norwegian joke. This Renaissance man and farmer is now bringing in the sheaves in the Elysian fields of heaven. He is deeply missed.
He is survived by three children, the light of his life: Molly McLain (Aaron Barth) of Fargo, ND and Mira McLain (Ben Simonson) and Matthew McLain of Valley City, ND; mother in law Shirley Goeller of Valley City; siblings: Christeen McLain of Fargo, Frank (Cere) McLain of Livingston, MT, Mary McLain (Barry Bram) of Mill Valley, CA, Faith (Wolfgang) Kirchdorfer, Livingston, MT, JB (Kris) McLain of Minneapolis, MN, Brad Goeller of Fargo, ND and Lorrie (John) Muckenhirn of Oakes, ND; dozens of adoring nieces, nephews, cousins, uncles, aunts and friends.
He is predeceased by his darling wife, Julie Goeller McLain, brother in law Steven Goeller, and parents Bud and Kathy McLain, and Joe Goeller.
Funeral arrangements by the Lerud Schuldt Funeral Home of Valley City, ND. Online guestbook available at www.lerudschuldt.com