Friday, 21 June 2024

Harold D. Harby, 1918-2010

Harold Harby died at his home in Kelseyville, Calif., on Friday, October 8, 2010. He was 92 years old. Courtesy photo.


Harold D. Harby passed away in his home in Riviera West on Oct. 8, 2010, from natural causes and surrounded by family.

Harold is survived by daughters, Nancy and Melanie Harby; son-in-law, Roy Zimmerman; grandchildren, Kelly and Curt Winchester, Jonathan Brockway, Travis and Rita Dunn, and Joseph and Samuel Zimmerman. He also is survived by his brother Stoney Harby and his nephew Gregory Reinhardt.

Harold was married for 31 years to his beloved wife, Margie Harby, who passed away in 1986.

Harold was born in Los Angeles, two months before the end of World War I, and was equally proud of his Norwegian, English and Native American roots.

Valedictorian of his high school class, he graduated at the depth of the Great Depression. He attended the US Military Academy Prep School at Fort Winfield Scott in San Francisco's Presidio where he watched the building of the Golden Gate Bridge. He then joined the U.S. Weather Bureau and traveled the western United States, working in the territory of Alaska when World War II broke out.

Harold returned to LA to work as an aircraft jig builder at North American Aviation. He then worked on one of the most famous airplanes ever built, Howard Hughes’s Hercules, commonly known as the “Spruce Goose.” During the war, Harold enlisted in the Army Air Corps as a 2nd Lieutenant flying B-17s and B-24s. He was also recognized as an expert marksman.

In 1952, he was an alternate to the Democratic National Convention. He also worked on political campaigns for his father, Harold Harby, who was Los Angeles City Councilman from the 1930s through the 1950s.

Harold found his life's calling when he went to work for the city of Los Angeles as a surveyor. He worked 33 years for the city and retired as survey supervisor for all of Los Angeles. Harold worked primarily in West LA and liked to say that he surveyed every inch of Sunset Boulevard. He developed a new technique to survey LA's ever-shifting beachfront from Malibu south to the LA Harbor. One of Harold's favorite projects was the expansion of LAX, and he personally surveyed many of its runways.

Harold's friends and family fondly remember him as an avid reader and Mensa member. He was a birder, naturalist and conservationist. He loved music, particularly Country Western and Big Band. Harold was a past master of his Masonic Lodge.

Harold resided here in Lake County for 25 years. He served as president of the Riviera West Homeowners' Associaton and as president of its water board. He also did a turn on the Lake County Grand Jury. Harold was an active member of the Clearlake State Park Interpretive Association and was docent at the Anderson Marsh Interpretive Association where he twice served as Santa Claus at Christmas. He was a leading force in the effort to save the Grigsby Riffle.

Rather than having a memorial service, Harold's friends and family celebrated his life with him last month on his 92nd birthday.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Lake County Hospice or give the gift of life by donating blood.

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