Harlan Phinney

Harlan Phinney


April 27, 1940 - March 22, 2024


Harlan Phinney, 83, of Mitchell, SD, passed onto eternal life on Friday, March 22, 2024, at Avera Queen of Peace Hospital in Mitchell. Funeral services will be at 10:30 AM Wednesday, March 27, at First United Methodist Church in Mitchell. Burial will be at Graceland Cemetery in Mitchell. Visitation will be Tuesday from 5-7:00 PM at Bittner Funeral Chapel.

A livestream of the funeral service can be viewed at: https://www.downtownfirstumc.com/worship-using-technology

Harlan Ray Phinney, son of Morton T. Phinney and Elsie V. Bitterman, was born in Loomis, South Dakota on April 27, 1940.

He had many experiences throughout life that made him who he was. Those who had a chance would relive those moments through Harlan’s many lively stories, from his youth and teen years to meeting his wife Carol in Springfield. He lived his life around his love of cars, at one time, drag racing the family car at Thunder Valley. He passed his passion onto his kids, teaching them to overhaul a motor to sanding and painting their first cars. 

Harlan owned a service station at the corner of First and Sanborn. Retiring early from Trail King, he and Carol then spent time working with Mickey and Minnie in Florida. Mitchell called them back to finish out their lives there, taking on the task of mowing Graceland Cemetery.

Harlan married Carol L. Magstadt, celebrating 63 years of marriage. He is also survived by three children:  Kim (Mark) Mostek, Broomfield, CO, Scott (Julie) Phinney, Springfield, IL, Mark (Kathy) Phinney, Appleton, WI, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren who felt he was the best. Also survived by his sister, Judy (Lyle) Kaufman, Colorado and sisters-in-law, Peg and Shirley. 

Harlan was preceded in death by his parents, Mort and Elsie Phinney, and brothers, Doug and Craig.


Tuesday, March 26, 2024
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Bittner Funeral Chapel
805 West Havens
Mitchell, SD


Wednesday, March 27, 2024
10:30 AM
First United Methodist Church
310 N Rowley St
Mitchell, SD


Graceland Cemetery
Mitchell, SD

Posted by Doug Sommer on April 5, 2024
Harlan was a great person and a great personality. Many good stories.

Sorry for your loss.
Posted by Stan ruff on April 3, 2024
So sorry for your loss I loved working for him back in the early 70
Posted by Nila Martinek on March 27, 2024
Deepest sympathy to Carol and family, I worked with Harlan at Trail King, and always enjoyed visiting with him, and watching how he treated people - always with a smile! He was a great guy, and was so very proud of his family- he grinned from ear to ear when talking about his grandkids! Prayers to you all, he will be a bright star in Heaven
Posted by Dylan Phinney on March 27, 2024
Rest in peace, Grandpa
Posted by Marcella van Kan on March 27, 2024
Sending love and prayers to Grandma Carol and the Phinney family. He will be missed!
Posted by David Tines on March 27, 2024
Worked with Harlan for many years a great friend and coworker RIpHarlan
Posted by Vicky Herrick on March 27, 2024
Sending my sincere sympathies to Harlan’s family
Posted by Beverly Moede on March 26, 2024
I met Harlan & Carol thru Mark & Kathy. Harlan was always interesting to talk to & very nice. Carol is too. I am sure his family & friends have many great memories of him
Posted by Denny Kaemingk on March 26, 2024
Sorry to hear of Harlan’s passing. He always had such a positive attitude. Thoughts and prayers for Carol and family.
Posted by Dan and Kathy Carlson on March 26, 2024
Our sympathy to Carol and family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.
Posted by Judy Backlund Gohl on March 26, 2024
Judy--I was so sorry to read that you have lost your brother. Blessings to you and all of his family.
Posted by Jim Radke on March 26, 2024
my deepathy
Posted by Jack & Lynette Schoon on March 26, 2024
Sending our sincerest condolences to Carol and all of Harlens family. May the many fond memories of Harlen bring you all peace and comfort. Blessing Jack & Lynette Schoon
Posted by Denny and Janice Welch on March 26, 2024
Our deepest sympathies to you Carol and all your family. Prayers to all
Posted by Denny & Linda Stokes on March 26, 2024
Prayers to Carol and family - Over the 52 years of friendship, we had great memories which we will cherish. Rest in Peace Harlan!
Posted by Pat A Helgeland on March 25, 2024
Prayers for the family. I worked with Harlan at Havens & Burr "66". He had a great sense of humor and was kind to everyone.
Posted by Deb Tilton on March 25, 2024
Carol and family, sorry to hear of Harlan’s passing. Always enjoyed visiting with him,
Posted by Bryan and Diane Slaba on March 25, 2024
Carol, We are so sorry to hear of Harlan’s passing. He was a great guy and I enjoyed working with him at Trail King. Our since sympathy and prayers to you and your family.
Posted by Dan Anderson and Monica Phillips on March 25, 2024
Condolences to the Phinney family.
Posted by Michael & Julie Phinney on March 25, 2024
Our sympathy to Carol and family. Harlan was my hero; he taught me about being a teenager, custom cars and drag racing, and draggin' Main. Wonderful memories. Thanks Harlan.
Posted by Rob & Marvelyn (Schoon) Brink on March 25, 2024
Our heartfelt condolences to Carol, Kim, Scott & Mark. Also to his sister, Judy, as well as all the many other family members.
Posted by Doug and Bonnie Carlson on March 25, 2024
A great friend for close to 50 years. Condolences to Carol and the family's of Kim. Scott and Mark
Posted by Jerry McNary on March 25, 2024
So sorry to hear ,many great times at MHS
Posted by Sheila Pederson on March 24, 2024
We will miss you so much after being a great friend for 55 years. So many great memories. Rest in peace.
Posted by Darla Kiner on March 23, 2024
My deepest sympathy he was great guy
Posted by Richard Stedman on March 23, 2024
My heartfelt sympathy to Carol and family. May the Lord be with you all.
Posted by Steve and Mary Kaye Federspiel on March 23, 2024
So sorry, Carol, Scott and all. Prayers for all. RIP Harlan
Posted by Bob & Carol Jonasen on March 23, 2024
Rest in Peace Harlan.
Posted by Class of 1959 on March 23, 2024
we are so sorry to hear the loss of our classmate.Rest in peace.
Posted by Mary and Richard Goudy on March 23, 2024
So sorry for your loss.
Posted by Jackie Christiansen on March 23, 2024
I worked many years with Harlan at Trail King. He was a totally wonderful man. Deepest Condolences to all of his friends and family. RIP Harlen
Posted by Rodney Phinney on March 23, 2024
Rest in Peace, Cousin.
Posted by Helen Rosenberger_Wall on March 23, 2024
My deepest sympathy to Carol and family.
Posted by Charlie and Darlene Bailey on March 23, 2024
Prayers to the family Rest in Peace Harlan
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