News Article

International Soap Box Derby Hall of Famer Ed Harmon Dies at 90

Akron, OHIO (May 27, 2024) – Edgar “Ed” Harmon, 90, a 2019 inductee into the International Soap Box Derby Hall of Fame, located in Akron, Ohio, died on May 24 after a short battle with cancer.

A life-long Akron resident, Ed raced in the Akron local race for three years beginning in 1947. He returned to the soap box derby scene in 1985, when his oldest grandson started racing. He then became a board member for the Akron local organization in 1998, and a member of the A-Team technical support group for the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby World Championship.

Widely known throughout the racing community as “Grandpa,” he contributed his technical expertise for local races in Akron and Portage County, Ohio, as well as at the World Championships and SuperKids events in Akron, by setting up electronic systems for communications, safety, security, timing and race operations. He also advised 17 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren who have participated in soap box derby races.

Ed retired after 45 years as an instrumentation specialist with Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems (formerly Goodyear Aerospace).

His daughter Vickie Beck, also a long-time volunteer for the Akron local and World Championship activities, was chosen for the Hall of Fame in 2022. They are the only father-daughter International Soap Box Derby Hall of Fame members.

In addition to Vickie, Ed is survived by daughters Cindy Buchanan and Linda Witt, son John Harmon, as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His wife of 64 years, Barbara Davies Harmon, pre-deceased him.

Funeral services will be held at Milheim Baptist Church in Akron on Wednesday, May 29, at 11 a.m.

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