Cover photo for Harlan Wayne Onley's Obituary
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1929 Harlan 2024

Harlan Wayne Onley

September 8, 1929 — March 13, 2024

Stapleton, GA

Harlan Wayne Onley, 94, a dedicated family man, military veteran, and faithful member of the community, transitioned to his eternal home in Heaven at his daughter's residence Wednesday evening, March 13, 2024.  To celebrate his life, memorial services with full military honors will be held in the James Funeral Home Chapel at 4:00PM Friday, March 22, 2024 with Rev. Mason Davis officiating. 

Harlan was born in Danville IL to the late Minerva Emerett Chandler Onley and the late Fay Raymond Onley.  His life was a remarkable journey filled with love, laughter, and service.

Harlan's commitment to education and country was evident as he obtained his GED while serving in the military for 24 years. Loving his country, he proudly joined the Army in 1947 and courageously served in the Korean War, Bay of Pigs, and Vietnam War, earning four bronze service stars. While stationed at Ft. Gordon, he retired from the military in 1971, making his permanent home in the Wrens area. Harlan continued his career by obtaining his CDL and driving over-the-road trucks until 2006.

Known for his jovial personality and generous spirit, Harlan always sought to bring joy to others. He was a man of faith who found solace in serving his Lord and Savior at Wrens Baptist Church until his health declined. He especially loved the fellowship of his Sunday School class. Harlan’s love for his family knew no bounds, with his grandchildren holding a special place in his heart.

In his leisure time, Harlan found contentment in hunting, fishing, and following sports.  His favorite sport was baseball and loved cheering his favorite team—the Atlanta Braves. 

Harlan is also preceded in death by his spouses, Doris Jean Boggess Onley and Alma Ruth Prickett Onley; children, Dianna L. Onley, David W. Onley and Janet E. Watts; granddaughter, Debra Taylor; and all of his siblings, Charlotte Onley, Carolyn Ann Onley, Allen Onley, Gene Onley, Beverly Onley, and Judy Onley. 

Those left to cherish his memories include his children, Donna O. James, John A. Onley (Karen), Andrew Onley, Tammy Nelson (Darren), and Linda Griffin; ten grandchildren, James Onley, Brian James (Amy), Brad James (Angie), Becky Wilson (Ken), John David Onley (Connie), Betsy Onley, Jerry Joe Watts, Tommy Watts, Aubrey Onley, Taylor Palmour and Leslie Elledge; twenty great-grandchildren; nine great-great-grandchildren; along with nieces, nephews, other extended family members, and church family.

The family wishes to extend their heartfelt gratitude to Kathy with All Caring Health and to the staff of Southeast Hospice for their loving, compassionate and professional care.

Harlan Wayne Onley's memory will continue to live on in the hearts of those who knew him as a devoted family man, valiant veteran, and friend to many. His presence will be deeply missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Harlan Wayne Onley, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, March 22, 2024

4:00 - 5:00 pm (Eastern time)

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