Funeral Services for Harlan Paul Mehling, 88, of Ekalaka will take place 11:00 am Tuesday, November 7, 2023 at Stevenson Funeral Home in Ekalaka with Tom Stieg officiating.
Visitation for Harlan will be from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm Monday, November 6, 2023 at Stevenson Funeral Home in Ekalaka.
Harlan passed away Friday, October 27, 2023 at his home in Ekalaka.
Harlan Paul Mehling was born to parents, Irving and Gladys Wegner Mehling at their farm home near Bayard, Nebraska on March 9, 1935. Harlan attended grade school in the country near their home and started high school in Bayard in 1949. But due to the terrible record breaking winter he could not continue to travel to school so he did not finish his education.
In 1950, his parents sold their farm in Nebraska and purchased the Preuss ranch 10 miles north of Ekalaka. They needed to move some of their equipment to their new home so 15 year old Harlan drove their International W9 tractor all the way from Nebraska to Montana. They established their cattle ranch and Irving had Harlan and his younger brother, Frank, for his help. Irving passed away in 1958 so Harlan and Frank continued operating the ranch.
In 1963, Harlan left the ranch, moved to Ekalaka and opened a car dealership, Arctic Cat dealership, and Mehling Garage. He was a very skilled mechanic. Shortly after he began farming on a small scale, share cropping and cash leasing from other land owners. As time went on he began farming on his own and he acquired some of his own land and the operation kept growing until he was tilling several thousand acres.
Harlan was a collector at heart. He collected cars and later sold them to focus on antique tractors. He traveled around the United States and Canada to purchase tractors, then he restored them to operating condition. In August 2021 he sold his tractors.
He is survived by his brother, Frank (Charlene); niece, Marcia Monforton and her daughter Kaylie; nephew Paul Mehling and his wife Michelle.
He is preceded in death by his parents Irving and Gladys Mehling.