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Harry J. Hale Sr, Pearl Harbor survivor, dies at age 91

By WKTV News

One of the area's last remaining Pearl Harbor survivors has passed away.

From his obituary:

Harry J. Hale Sr, 91 of New York Mills died Sunday, December 16 at the Faxton-St. Luke's Home.

Born on April 14, 1921 in the City of Utica, he graduated from New York Mills High School and enlisted in the Navy, where he served his country with honor during World War II aboard the USS Travor.

On December 7, 1941, Harry's ship was in Pearl Harbor battling for our country, a day he continued to honor every year.

His service to his country continued throughout the Pacific Theater, including Guadalcanal, Midway, Iwo Jima and Okinawa, until the end of the war. When he returned home to New York Mills, he met a young woman from Whitesboro, Elizabeth Green, and on September 27, 1947, they were married in St. Patricks Church in Utica. A blessed union over 65 years was filled with much love and mutual admiration. Harry was employed for many years at the Utica State Hospital, retiring in 1983.

He was also employed by Central New York Coach Lines and Birnie Bus and enjoyed his bus driving routes. He also played golf, bowled and traveled visiting family, splitting his time between upstate New York and becoming a West Coast Florida snowbird. Harry was a member of Our Lady of Rosary Church in New Hartford, the New Hartford American Legion where he was a former marching member of the Color Guard, Past Commander of the Clinton VFW, Past President of Chapter 7 Pearl Harbor Survivors Assoc., PLAV, Whitestown and New York Mills Sr. Citizens. He also enjoyed coaching Little League, Babe Ruth and Grad League baseball, where he was known by his players as Suit Coat. He also enjoyed his time in "Stashs Coffee Club".

Harry was an extremely patriotic person who demonstrated everyday his love for America. In 2010, Principal Gary Hatfield of New York Mills School presented Harry with his diploma. Mr. Hatfield invited him to walk with the graduating class of 2010, which was a very proud moment in his life.

He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth (Betty) Hale, of New York Mills; his two daughters, Linda Hajdasz and Ron, of Deerfield, and Sandra Kurgan, of Trinity, FL; and a son, Harry (Jim) Hale, Jr., and Jan, of Clearwater, FL. Pop also leaves his adored grandchildren, Bill and Hope Hajdasz, Melissa Hollenbeck, of Deerfield, Kelly Kurgan, of Tucson, AZ, Eric and Katherine Kurgan, of New Windsor, NY, Joshua and Jordan Hale, of Clearwater, FL. "Poppy" also had seven great-grandchildren, Rachele, Mathieu, Marc and Mason Hajdasz, Taylor and Tucker Hollenbeck and Logan Kurgan. He is also survived by his in-laws, Jack and Fran Green, Irene Green, Sue and Bernie Stephens, and Pat and Fred Morgan; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sisters, May Barton and Ruth Bullard; and a brother, Thomas Hale.

The family wishes to sincerely thank the staff at Faxton-St. Lukes Home, especially Barton West, for their care and true compassion given to Harry and his family during his extended stay.

Funeral services will be held on Friday at 10 AM at Our Lady of the Rosary Church in New Hartford, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated. Military honors will be offered at the conclusion of the funeral mass. Interment will be private at the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery.

Family and friends are invited to call on Thursday from 4:00 to 7:00 PM at the Dimbleby, Friedel, Williams & Edmunds Funeral Home, Forty Main St., Whitesboro. In lieu of flowers, please consider Wounded Warriors Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka KS 66675 or the Lupus Foundation of America, P.O. Box 418629, Boston, MA 02241. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.

For online expressions of sympathy, please go to: www.dfwefh.com

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