Bliss, Harold E.
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passed peacefully on February 28, 2014 in Sun City West, AZ at the age of 93. Loving father of daughters Connie (Leon) Bliss-Rusch, Cynthia (Dan) Wicka, Mary (Paul) Nowak and Beth Bliss; Cherished grandfather of Adam (Kelly) Rusch, Caitlin Rusch, Bradley (Kayla) Williams, Nathan and Andrea Wicka, Matthew (Tennille) Nowak, Nicole (Aaron) Tripps, Eric Pitch, Bryan and Breanne Hageny; proud great-grandfather to Ryland, Dylan and Grace Nowak; McKenna Tripps, Austin and Logan Williams, and Ella Rusch. Bliss is also survived by brother John Bliss and sister Helen Bliss; preceded in death by his beloved wife, Betty, daughter Carol Lynn, grandson Erik, and brothers Donald and Ellsworth Bliss. Harold Bliss was born in Wausau on April 23, 1920 to John A. and Helen (Burns) Bliss. He was a graduate of Wausau East High School and UW-Whitewater. He received his naval commission from Notre Dame University in 1943 and served in the South Pacific including the campaign to liberate the Philippine Islands. Bliss participated in the battle of Leyte Gulf, and amphibious landings on the islands of Halmahera, Morotai, and General Santo. Before ending his active Navy career in 1947, he served as the Assistant Ship Service Officer at the Naval Training Station at the Great Lakes, and retired from the Naval reserve in 1960. Bliss joined Employers Insurance of Wausau in Los Angeles in 1947 and before returning to the Wausau home office in 1956 served in a variety of management positions in Indianapolis and Dallas. He managed the corporate group health operations and served as President of Employers Life of Wausau. Before retiring in 1985 he was appointed Senior Vice President and supervised six of the company's regional offices. While in Wausau, Bliss served as President of both the Wausau Visiting Nurses' Association and the Zender Memorial Home. He was a member of the Wausau Club, Wausau County Club, Wausau Curling Club Association, The Elks Club, the Golden K Club, and the Burns Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was also President of the UW-Whitewater Alumni Association and was honored as Outstanding Alumni in 1972. The most impressive things about Harold Bliss were not his above accomplishments. Harold Bliss was a friend and loved by many. He was always happy and kind. Harold had the ability to compliment and help others without personal complaint; to make others feel better about themselves in the most unassuming manner-those are his real legacy. He was one of the few among us that you could honestly say never said an unkind word to anyone, and was considered a best friend of many. He will be truly missed. Visitation will be held at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Wausau beginning 8:45 a.m. on Monday, March 17, followed by a funeral mass at 10:00 a.m.; burial and luncheon will immediately follow. Brainard Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements. If desired, donations may be made to Special Olympics.
Published in The Arizona Republic on Mar. 9, 2014