Grady Edward Harlan, Ph.D.

Published 10:58 am Monday, August 14, 2017

Grady Edward Harlan, Ph.D., passed away peacefully at the Baptist Reynolds Hospice House in Collierville, TN on August 10, 2017, at the age of 83 after a short battle with pancreatic cancer.  Dr. Harlan was born June 11, 1934 in Tularosa, NM.  An only child, he was preceded in death by his parents, Cecil Baxter Harlan and Ada Louise Chappelear Harlan.

Grady was an honors graduate from Capitan Union High School in Capitan, N.M. He lettered in football all four years of high school, receiving a football scholarship to Western New Mexico University where he received his B.A. in Health and Recreation and a Master’s degree in Counseling and Guidance in 1958. He earned his Ph.D. in Counseling and Educational Psychology from The University of Iowa in 1964.  A dedicated educator, Grady served as an Assistant Professor of Counseling, Educational Psychology at The University of Wyoming.  He was instrumental in developing the Counseling Educational Psychology Department at Auburn University where he was a professor from 1965-1969.  He spent his 30 year tenure as a professor in the Counseling and Educational Psychology Department at University of Mississippi which he chaired from 1969 – 1977. While at Ole Miss, he directed over 200 doctoral dissertations. Dr. Harlan was a member of many professional organizations including American Personnel and Guidance Association, Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, Mississippi Counseling Association, American School Counselor Association, and the New Mexico Counseling Association.  He received many professional honors including Outstanding Alumni at Western NM University and published numerous articles. Throughout his career he served as a counseling and guidance consultant for over 60 school systems in the South.  He was a lifelong champion of civil rights and worked to de-segregate the Birmingham, AL and Oxford, MS public schools and also strongly supported the American Native Indian Nation.   

Grady was well known as a passionate golfer who rarely missed a day on the golf course as evidenced by his incredible 15 holes-in-one. His hobbies varied widely and demonstrated his keen curiosity including making golf clubs, hunting, restoring cars, boats, and airplanes, building furniture, learning to fly small planes, participating in alumni activities, and keeping up with the many long-time friendships he cherished. In his later years, Grady enjoyed his retirement living on a golf course in Las Cruces, NM. Grady will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

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Grady is survived by his four children, William E. Harlan (Kay) of Katy, TX, Diane H. Liddell (Joe) of Vicksburg, MS, Michael W. Harlan (Bonnie) of Houston, TX, and Amanda H. Whitehorn (Paul) of Collierville, TN, and ten grandchildren, Sarah Harlan, David Harlan, Grace Harlan; Shelby Claire Liddell, Avery Lynn Liddell; Alexandra Gottschalk, Chase Gugenheim, Cole Harlan; Harlan Whitehorn and Charles Whitehorn.    

The family would like to thank all of Grady’s caretakers who provided wonderful care and compassion during the last few months of his life with special thanks to his housekeeper and friend, Connie Hernandez.  A private service will be held at a later date, and Grady will be laid to rest with his beloved parents in Tularosa, NM.  In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the School of Education at the University of Mississippi ( or University of MS Foundation; 406 University Avenue; Oxford, MS 38655) or the Baptist Reynolds Hospice House/Kemmons Wilson Family Center for Good Grief (