Harlan L Wooten



Harlan L. Wooten, age 88, of Fort Myers, Florida, passed away Friday, June 28, 2024, at Hope Hospice of Cape Coral, Florida after a brief illness. Born at home near Greenfield, Indiana on December 25, 1935, the son of Roscoe H. and T. Louise Wooten.

Harlan graduated from Charlottesville High School in 1953, where he excelled in track &field events, and at one point held the Hancock County Pole Vault record. Harlan was also a member of the Charlottesville High School Sectional Championship basketball team his senior year.

Harlan attended classes at Ball State University, Butler University and Indiana Central University where he studied chemistry and horticulture. He retired from Eli Lilly &Company in 1993, and moved with his wife to Fort Myers, Florida, joining his daughter and her family.

An aviation enthusiast, Harlan acquired his pilot’s license at an early age, and logged thousands of hours of flying time. This led him to owning three of his own airplanes, his first being a Piper J-3 Cub, which was his pride and joy. He was an accomplished aerobatic pilot. Harlan attended many airshows throughout the midwest and southwest Florida during his life. He was a master orchidist, receiving many awards at various orchid shows in the area.

Harlan enjoyed traveling and was blessed to have gone on 19 cruises and traveled to many island destinations, Italy and Greece. He most enjoyed taking his family to his favorite islands of the Abacos and Exumas. Being a history buff, he loved historic landmarks and what they represented. He also enjoyed many years of his annual fishing trips to the Canadian Boundary Waters of Quetico, inviting several friends to accompany him over the years and introducing them to the beautiful Canadian wilderness.

In his later years, his most enjoyable activity was hosting his friends, family and neighbors at Happy Hour for “Tiki Time” under the infamous “Harlan’s Tiki Hut” that he looked forward to daily. This became a tradition that was started in 2001 when he constructed it himself, until Hurricane Ian destroyed his home in 2022.

Harlan was a member of the Greenfield Sertoma, serving as a past President wherein he received the coveted Sertoman of the Year award. He was very honored to have received this award. Harlan was a member of the Masonic Lodge, Indiana National Guard, and served as a Reserve Deputy for the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department. Harlan volunteered for many local organizations in the Greenfield and Hancock County area through the years.

Harlan was loved by all who had the pleasure to have met him, and he cherished all of his friendships. He will be greatly missed.

Harlan is survived by his daughter, Julia (Wooten) Guernsey, son in law Dale Guernsey, granddaughter Jasmine (Guernsey) Palfi and husband Matthew Palfi, great grandsons, Landon Palfi, Tyson Palfi and Fischer Palfi. He is also survived by longtime companion Judy Gibson of Boca Raton, Florida, her sons Ty Gibson (Donna), their sons, Garrett and Hunter of Wellington, Florida, and Shane Gibson (Karen), their daughters, Kayla and Kelsey of Boca Raton, Florida. He is also survived by many extended family members including several nieces and nephews. Harlan was preceded in death by his wife, Patricia (Strouse) Wooten, a son Harlan Bradford (Brad) Wooten, a brother Richard F. Wooten, and his parents.

Special thanks to all of his caregivers at Amavida Resort Assisted Living Community and the wonderful doctors and nurses at Hope Hospice of Cape Coral, Florida.

Per Harlan’s wishes there will be a private graveside service wherein he will be laid to rest next to his wife, Patricia, in the Fort Myers Memorial Cremation Gardens. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Boys and Girls Club of Hancock County in his name.

Arrangements by Fort Myers Memorial Gardens.

Friends may share memories at www.fortmyersmemorial.com