Steven William Harrat

March 10, 1956 - November 15, 2013 

Steven William Harrat

March 10, 1956 - November 15, 2013 

Obituary for Steven William Harrat

Stevie was born on March 10, 1956 in Columbus Ohio. He was the last of three children born to Ethelyn and William Harrat.

He was born with a congenital heart defect. He made front page news when, at eighteen months old, he was the youngest child to have open heart surgery at (Nationwide) Children's Hospital in 1958. Having no equipment made for so small a patient, the surgeons had to modify an iron lung and instruments in order to operate. The surgery was only partially successful however. Besides being deprived of oxygen for six minutes, Dr. Sirak gave our parents the prognosis that Stevie wouldn't live to see his 18th birthday because of the discovery that the patch they placed over the hole between two chambers of his heart partially separated. The fact that he was deprived of oxygen for six minutes later manifested as not being able to walk till he was almost three years old and a diagnosis of a developmental disability in second grade.

But apparently Stevie didn't get the memo. Once Stevie started walking, he ran for the next 53 years. He played outside with his brother and sister. He rode a bike. He attended Neil Avenue School, Colerain School and North High School where he graduated with a Diploma of Completion at the age of 20 in the Senior Class of 1976. He got his driver's license. He went to King's Island. He went on road trips and flew in a plane. He had a CB license and spoke with truckers regularly using the handle "Teddy Bear". He has attended the Ohio State Fair every year for the last 30+ years. He's been the subject of conversation on morning talk shows. He bled maize and blue (sorry, Bucks). He had a peddler's license and sold candy on the streets of downtown Columbus. He loved visiting Fire House #2. He was an usher at Holy Cross Catholic Church where he attended mass. He made front page news in 2012 as the man in the wheelchair saluting outside the State House when a government official died.

No one can say Stevie didn't live his life his way, to the fullest, and on his terms. God blessed him with the ability to enjoy his life regardless of his circumstances. He was the ultimate example of making lemonade out of the cart of lemons he was given.

Stevie was preceded in death by his mother and father, Ethelyn and William Harrat. Remaining to carry on his legacy of determination, and joy of life are his sister Adrienne Harrat Spencer (Othelda); brother Stan Harrat (Lillian); nieces Nicole, Teresa, Sanita, Andrea and Asha; nephews Arye and Aaron; and many cousins other relatives and friends.

Special thanks to the staff at McNaughten Pointe for his care during the last 10 months after his hip surgery, to Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities for their efforts to start services for him and to the Staff at Jaycee Arms for their accommodating his idiosyncrasies.
We will miss him. XO XO

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