In Memory

James Harp

We just became aware of this obituary so am adding it now, yes three years later.

James A. Harp, 51, pool hall owner

By Krystyna Slivinske

February 10, 1999 Chicago Tribune

He may not have been a great pool player, but James A Harp 51, of Arlington Heights, did know how to run his billiard halls in Vernon Hills and Chicago.

Born in Oakland, Mr. Harp died Sunday while on vacation in northern Michigan.

After a 26 year career in office product sales that required a lot of travel, Mr. Harp was ready for a change. His sales career began in California with Moore Business Forms, where he was director of sales.  He was transferred to Chicago in 1975 and continued working in sales with several other companies that included Rubbermaid in Chicago.

In 1991 after reading a magazine article about the rising popularity of pool halls, Mr. Harp decided to open one.  The following year with the assistance of his best friend and partner, Carl Hahn, Mr. Harp opened Slate Street Billiards in Vernon Hills.

“It was never described as working there because it was always so much fun,” said Hahn.  “He was a fun person to be around every minute of the day.”

In 1997, Mr. Harp this time on his own, opened Philosofur’s, an upscale bar with pool tables and dart boards in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.

“He was the consummate bar leader,” said his daughter Kellee Magee.  “He was the kind of guy you wanted to spill your guts out to.”

Mr. Harp received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from California State University of Chico where he met his wife of 30 years, Lauree.  He was past president of the Frontier Days Festival Committee in Arlington Heights.

Other survivors include a daughter, Mollee, his parents William and Jean, and a brother William.

A visitation will be held from 3 to 8 p.m.  Wednesday at Glueckert Funeral Home Ltd. 1520 N. Arlington Heights.  Service will be held a 11 a.m. Thursday in the funeral home.

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02/11/15 11:27 AM #1    

David Finster

I knew Jim. and I wish that my aging memory had more specifics to put

here to honor him. Rest in Peace.

02/11/15 08:56 PM #2    

Thomas (Thom) Schuttish

I knew Jim well. He, Norm Dedrick, Rick Pellegrin and I did a lot of goofing off together. Jim really knew how to have fun. He graduated from Chico and had a long career in sales for Moore Business Forms. His wife, Laurie, whom I think he met at DVC, and he moved around the country, ending up in Chicago. His obituary in the Chicago Tribune/Sun-Times said he got tired of sales and opened up two pool parlors in Chicago. They were very successful and illustrated perfectly Jim's penchant for fun. He died at his country home in Michigan, I think shoveling snow. A great guy.   Norm too.  

02/11/15 10:32 PM #3    

David Glen

At the last reunion, Jim was at the top of my list of people I wanted to connect with. I was shocked to hear of his death. Linda Geary said she heard he had a bad heart attack when snow mobiling. He and I were close from eighth grade on when he just moved up from New Orleans. Lots of memories of good times.

03/23/15 08:09 PM #4    

Joanne McLean (Nussen)

Jim was a good friend of mine.  I felt he was a very good friend, always a sincere, responsible friend.  He was always a lot of fun but you could also always count on him.  He loved life and was taken way too soon.  Rest in Peace Jim.

05/19/15 11:24 AM #5    

Linda Razzano (Carroll)

Jim was my back fence neighbor an on occasion when we heard each other in the yard we would hang over the fence and talk for awhile. I didn't see him after high school all that much. But I have no doubt that this smart and sensitive kid grew up to be a great man.

05/19/15 02:19 PM #6    

Barbara Bryant (Blume)

Jim was one of my favorite people ever. He was smart, thoughtful, kind, fun loving, and wise beyond his years. We stayed in touch after he and Laurie moved to the mid-west. Laurie called me when Jim died. He was riding a snow mobile in the Iron Mountain Range and had a massive heart attack. He was doing what he loved with friends. I still miss him and friendship we shared.

01/01/22 01:29 PM #7    

Tom Webster

I met Jim when my family moved to Pleasant Hill in 1956. We lived two doors from the Harps on Putnam Blvd. Jimmy (in those days) and I were constant companions for a couple of years, probably until the start of middle school at Pleasant Hill Intermediate. I remember many rounds of Clue and Charades (both new to me at the time) in their spacious living room. Mrs. Harp had a strong southern accent and was very gracious. Jim's older brother Billy (William Jr. after dad) was a fun guy who often participated in our games. They had an orange long-haired cat named Marmalade. The Harps had the first semicircular driveway I had ever seen (I was young!) and they had huge willows in the front yard, and a pomegranate bush that produced edible fruit. We drifted apart in middle school and high school as we pursued different activities. Others remember Jim as fun-loving. He was certainly that when I knew him. Strange to see how the people I knew when I was young went off in different directions and we lost touch with each other. 

01/02/22 09:00 AM #8    

Marsha Macdougall

I remember Jim. A really nice guy. Glad to hear he had such a wonderful life!

01/02/22 11:25 AM #9    

Thomas (Thom) Schuttish

Jim's obituary is in the February 10, 1999 issue of the Chicago Tribune. Following on Tom Webster's note, Jim's grandmother was referred to as Witsy and spent much time at the Harp residence. There were plenty of Virginia accents between Mom and grandmom. Jim's father worked at Shell in Emeryville. The parents moved to Houston during a Shell restructuring. I think they finally returned to Virginia upon retirement. Both of them survived Jim as did Jim's wife, daughter and brother Bill. 

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