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Harold De Lisle

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Harold De Lisle Obituary
Harold W. De Lisle passed away early in the morning on August 29th, in his sleep, at the BeeHive of Great Falls, Montana, after a long illness. He is survived by his sister, Carol De Lisle Meyers (Edward) of East Brunswick, NJ, his son Hayes M. De Lisle (Janet) of Great Falls, Montana, his daughter Lesley A. De Lisle Kinder (Thomas) of Boulder, CO, his granddaughter Casey Dawn De Lisle of Calhan, CO, and his grandsons Peter M. Kinder and Scott T. Kinder of Boulder. He was predeceased by his parents, Winfield S. De Lisle and Ida Scudder De Lisle, his wife, Louise M. De Lisle, of Westfield NJ and Boulder, CO, his brother Robert J. De Lisle of Red Bank, NJ, and his sisters Helen De Lisle Marzillier and Hazel De Lisle Weston, also of Red Bank, NJ, Harold was born and raised in Colonia, NJ, the eldest of 5 brothers and sisters. He served in World War II as a navigator and engineer on a Martin Maurader (B-26), flying 29 missions until he was shot down over Italy in the winter of 1943. Risking his life, and gravely injured, he saved the life of the pilot and co-pilot by putting on their parachutes and sending them out of the plane before it crashed. Rescued by Italian partisans, he spent more than two months in a cave 30 miles outside Rome. On Easter Sunday, he and his flightmate Bill tried to make it to Vatican City, where they hoped to find refuge. Unfortunately, they were caught and imprisoned in an SS jail for several days until they were sent by rail to Stalag Luft III, a POW camp for US and British airmen (and also the camp made famous by the movie "The Great Escape"). After surviving nearly two years at the camp, in late January 1945 they were forced to march for over a week in snow, sleet and freezing conditions to another camp where, in late April 1945, they were liberated by Patton's army, whose tanks broke down the gates to their camp. After the war, Harold worked at NJ Bell as an engineer at Bell Labs and, after his retirement in 1978, continued to work as a contract engineer for various telephone and communications companies until his retirement at age 75. During retirement, he continued to volunteer and keep active, in particular as a partner in his daughter's business, the Boulder Backroads Marathon & Half Marathon in Boulder, helping to measure race courses, setting up signage and finish line fencing and flagging, and managing the finish lines for the 3,000+-person races. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him, and whose lives he touched through his gentle, thoughtful and caring manner. He was truly one of the "Greatest Generation." No memorial services are planned nor are donations requested.

Published in The Daily Camera on Sept. 9, 2013
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