Harold Sidney Staal, 90, died peacefully May 17, 2016 at the Christian Health Care Center in Lynden, WA. A native of Montana, Harold was born July 2, 1925 in Columbus, MT and lived his first 11 years on a homestead in nearby Rapelje. He was the last surviving of eight children born from 1915 to 1929 to Sipke "Sam" Staal and Henrietta "Hattie" (Kaluf) Staal. The Staal family's Depression Era relocation by worn automobile and overloaded utility truck to Whatcom County, WA in the desperate winter of 1936/37 was a vivid experience for young Harold, particularly his first awareness of their new paradise where rain and green grass were the winter norm. The family soon settled on a farm in Sumas WA, where Harold helped with chores and completed 8 years of schooling. On April 17, 1946, Harold and Judith (VanDiest) Staal were married in Sumas, beginning a devoted partnership of 66 years until her death in 2012. Together they eventually assumed and developed the farm and raised six children, all of whom survive: Helen Menendez of Blaine, Darlene Staal of Sumner, Beverly Staal of Everson/Kirkland, Ronald (Moreen) Staal of Puyallup/Las Vegas, Eugene (Gina) Staal of Lynden, and Donna (Paul) McDonald of Bainbridge Island. Harold is also survived by numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren, as well as sisters and brothers in-law Leota VanderMolen, Gladys VanDiest, Ruth VanHeukelom, Marge (Art) Jessup, Bern (Linda) VanDiest, and Al (Cindy) VanDiest. Harold was a gifted dairy farmer and a natural teacher, with a special interest in the land, fine equipment, and abundant crops arising from it. He was devoted to his work, family, church and community, sharing time and talent for Christian school boards, church consistory, and county water board. These duties, as well as recreational activities such as hunting, camper caravan trips, bowling league, and couples volleyball were enjoyed for their common social element that was so important to him. Services will be held Monday, May 23, 2 p.m. at Sumas Christian Reformed Church. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Harold's name are suggested for Sumas CRC, 700 Sumas Ave, Sumas WA 98295. You are invited to share your condolences and memories in the online guestbook at www.gilliesfuneralhome.com.
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GILLIES FUNERAL HOME, INC - Lynden
202 FRONT ST
Lynden, WA 98264
Published in Bellingham Herald on May 22, 2016