Obituary: Jonathan David Harber

March 16, 1952 – November 13, 2022

John Harber was a beloved life partner, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. Known as John or JD, his parents and many of his longtime friends also called him Johnny. John was born in 1952 in Haifa, Israel to Oswald and Zelda Harber. He immigrated to Los Angeles as a child, where he grew up with his sisters Ariela and Danya and became a US citizen. John graduated from Grant High School in 1969 where he competed in cross country running. He attended LA Valley College before becoming a Mazda master mechanic. Throughout his varied life, John also earned a Master’s Degree in Gemmology from the GIA and an Associate’s Degree in Registered Nursing from Santa Monica College, where he taught anatomy and physiology. He was also a business owner and entrepreneur.

John met Amy Bursma, the love of his life, in 1990 and they had two children, Lucky and Tanion. John doted on his boys, volunteering at their daycares and high schools, supporting a Boy Scout troop, hiking, camping, traveling, gardening, cooking, playing sports, and more. One of John’s lifelong hobbies was travel and outdoor recreation – the more difficult, the better. Besides love for his family and friends, adventure was John’s greatest passion as a young man and his passion for travel took him literally to travel all over the world in the United States, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East, the Himalayas, Thailand and the Far East. East. East.

John was a renaissance man. He loved art, music, cinema, car repair, photography and sports. He was an excellent cook and enjoyed hosting guests. Above all else, John was funny. He had a gift for coming up with unusual names for people, places, and things. He was outgoing, witty, intelligent and down to earth. Men admired him, women adored him, children and animals loved him. John was a big animal lover. He was appointed by the Santa Monica City Council to the committee that succeeded in forming the Santa Monica Commission on the Disabled. John continued to actively advocate for people with disabilities.

John was a longtime member of the First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica.

He is survived by his 32-year-old sweetheart Amy and their two sons, Lucky and Tanion Harber, his two sisters Danya and Ariel, nieces Jessica, Samantha and Tara, and his nephews Gabriel and Evan. He was greatly loved and his family and wide circle of longtime loyal loving friends will miss him dearly.

Burial will take place this Sunday, March 19 at 1:00 pm at 1220 First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica, 2nd St. 90401, in the smaller chapel, not the main sanctuary. Reception to follow.

If you are unable to attend the service but would like to help the family, there is an online fundraiser at

Post obituary: Jonathan David Harber first appeared in the Santa Monica Daily Press.

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