Vail Daily obituary: Harlan E. Choate, 1926-2011 |

Vail Daily obituary: Harlan E. Choate, 1926-2011

Special to the Daily
Vail, CO Colorado

Harlan Eugene Choate, 85, of Anacortes, Wash., passed away on Oct. 9 in Mount Vernon, Wash.

He was born in Wichita Falls, Texas, on March 22, 1926, to Harlan and Ruby Lee (Rose) Choate. Harlan grew up in west Texas prior to serving proudly for 21 years as a career military officer in the U.S. Army in the artillery and as an Army pilot. His service took him to Korea, Germany (where he met his future wife, Ursula Loeser) and to the Vietnam conflict as a helicopter pilot, retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was the recipient of the Bronze Star medal as well as numerous other decorations.

After his retirement from the Army in 1969, Harlan moved his young family to the high country in Vail, where he began Choate and Turner Realty Company as well as Bighorn Rentals Property Management. It was there that he instilled a love of the outdoors, camping, skiing and fly fishing in his two sons. Harlan was also the president of the Vail chapter of Rotary International.

In 1978, his passion for the water brought him to Anacortes, Wash., in the Pacific Northwest, where he became an avid boater and salmon fisherman. He was also a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, which kept him busy as an instructor and aiding fellow boaters in need.

Throughout their 57 years of marriage Harlan and Ursula traveled the world including Europe, Central America and the Far East.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

Harlan is survived by his beloved wife, Ursula, and sons, Adrian and Betsey Choate of Clackamas, Ore., and Glenn Choate of Westcliffe. Memorials are suggested to the Paralyzed Veterans of America ( or 800-555-9140). Interment will be in Fernhill Cemetery with a private family memorial. His ashes will be spread on the waters of the Puget Sound as a fitting farewell for his life.

Arrangements are in the care of Evans Funeral Chapel and Crematory, Inc., Anacortes, Wash., and the San Juan Islands. To share memories of Harlan, please sign the online guest register at

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