Harold (Hal) was born on March 28, 1937 in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. He died August 5, 2019 peacefully in his sleep at the age of 82.
Harold was born and lived in Lee’s Summit, Missouri until he was three years old and then moved to Sunnyside, Washington. His family lived in Sunnyside for a few years and then work took them to Yakima. His father bought a 1929 Model “A” Ford and his father, mother, sister, and he drove from Yakima to Lee’s Summit and moved his grandmother and his uncle out to Yakima. He went to elementary school in Yakima and then on to Highland High School in Cowiche, Washington. While in high school he was active in the marching band: playing the snare, base and kettledrums in the percussion section. Harold was also active in the photography club, student yearbook, FFA (Future Farmers of America), and ran track (880 run). He said he was never much of an athlete, but tried.
After graduating from high school, in 1955, Harold joined the United States Coast Guard. That was during a time when all boys of 18 years of age were required to file for the Draft. He had a choice of either waiting for the U.S. Army or U.S. Navy to “Draft” him or he could enlist in the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Marines, or the National Guard. He said that he chose the Coast Guard and was always glad that he did. He served 4 years in active duty and then 4 years inactive duty. While in the U.S. Coast Guard, boot camp, he played the snare drum in the U.S.C.G Drum and Bugle Corps. During his service he had the opportunity to travel north, on the Northwind, the last Wind-class icebreaker, on Operation-Deep Freeze. They were attempting to find a passage over the “top of the world.” He said they didn’t accomplish that but many other scientific experiments were considered successful.
Harold moved back to Yakima and was married in 1959. Their first daughter, Debbie, was born in 1961. Soon after they moved to Portland, Oregon for a short time and was then transferred to Walla Walla, Washington where he worked as Chief Clerk in the Traffic Department of the NPRY (he stated that it was probably the BEST job he ever had), but was offered a job with Consolidated Freightways (at that time the largest motor freight carrier in the entire U.S.) as a salesman which took his family back to Yakima. Their second daughter, Sharon, was born in 1965.
One year later Harold was offered a job, within Consolidated Freightways in Seattle. They sold their home in Yakima and moved to Seattle where he worked at every position in the Seattle Terminal of Consolidated Freightways from Dock Foreman to Assistant Terminal Manager.
Harold lived in the Seattle area for many years, working at Consolidated Freightways, Transcon Lines, a civilian job with the U.S.C.G, a civil service job at Pacific Northwest Outport, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Real Estate Division. He finally retired in 1993.
He moved to Germantown, Ohio in 2005 and then moved back to Seattle in 2011. Moving back to Seattle was a blessing as his eldest daughter, Debbie, was diagnosed with terminal cancer and died, August 13, 2011. Harold was able to spend precious time with his daughter and family those last few months of her life.
Even though Harold was retired, he kept himself young by staying busy! He took a job at the stadium as a greeter for the Seattle Mariners. He loved visiting with people and sharing his stories. He also volunteered for the Seattle SeaFarers. Seafarers serve those who work on board cargo, container ships, and bulk carriers by providing essential human services. Harold cared for the Seafarers by driving them places they needed to go on their down time.
Harold was a man of God with deep-rooted faith, going back to his childhood. He lived his life giving back to others, which is what truly made him the happiest. Most recently he was a parishioner at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, in West Seattle. Volunteering was what he did. If anyone needed anything they knew they could count on him. Harold faithfully delivered food donations to the West Seattle Food Bank and delivered bouquets of flowers to the sick and shut in, on a regular basis. His bright smile and can-do attitude will be deeply missed.
He is survived by his daughter Sharon Nark, grandchildren: Tami Oden, Jorge Muratalla, Conrad Nark, and Julia Nark, and great grandson A.J. Oden.
Harold was a dedicated husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend who will be greatly missed.
A memorial service will be held at 12:30 on Monday, August 19th at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, 3050 California Ave. S.W., Seattle, WA 98116.
In lieu of flowers, per Harold’s request, remembrances can be made to his grandchildren/great-grandchild’s education fund.
Please Share Memories of Harold and condolences with the Willard Family on the tribute page located above.
Arrangements Entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services - West Seattle