Harry Eastham

Harry Eastham

Fort Worth, TX

Harry Allen Eastham, 83, was called home to our Lord on December 29, 2013, in Fort Worth, Texas. He was born to Lucile and John Q. Eastham on January 22, 1930. Harry grew up in Kansas City, MO, attending Horace Mann Grade School until 1942 and graduating Paseo High School in 1946.

Harry earned his Eagle Scout in 1946 and attended Philmont Scout Camp in New Mexico that same year. He served in the Naval Reserve starting in 1948 and was drafted into the Army in 1951. He served with the 24th Infantry division headquarters during the Korean War. In 1952, he was stationed in Sendai, Japan, with the 24th Infantry headquarters as a Chief Accountant. He was released in 1953, then served five years in the Army Reserve, receiving an honorable discharge in 1958 as a Staff Sergeant.

In 1948 Harry worked for TWA as an Accountant, then in 1950 went to Westinghouse Electric in Kansas City. In 1953, after serving in the Army, he returned to Westinghouse Electric. He had hoped to return in the Accounting area, however, there were no openings. During his interview, he was asked, "What about Data Processing?" to which he responded, "What is Data Processing? Sure, I will do it!" This began his long career in Information Technology. In 1956 he left Westinghouse Electric for a "Guys Road Trip" to Miami Beach.

While on this "Guys Trip" to Miami Beach in April, 1956, he met the love of his life, Maria Schirmenti Eastham (Bunny), asking for her hand in marriage after knowing her for three days. He returned to Kansas City after the three days, and three months later she flew to Kansas City, MO, meeting his family for the first time. They married on July 12, 1956, and after the wedding left for New York City, where Harry met her family for the first time. Having no job, he went looking and had one the next day with Bigelow Sanford Carpet Company, working for them in NYC until 1961.

During their life in NY, their two children were born: John Clinton Eastham in 1957 in Rego Park, NY, and Jan Leslie Eastham in 1960 in Manhasset Long Island.

August of 1961, the family moved to 9 Vicki Circle, Greenville, SC, into the last house built in the neighborhood. Harry continued working for Bigelow Sanford until 1968, when he started with Cryovac Plastics, Inc. In 1969, he started his long career with Reeves Brothers, Inc. in Spartanburg, SC. He was promoted to Data Processing Manager before converting to Project Management, where he managed the Consumer Products Division until 1988. He was transferred to Hometown, PA, and retired in 1995 from Dawson Consumer Products (formerly Reeves Brothers). He consulted for the next four years with Armstrong Flooring, even though he signed a one year contract. After the four years, he fully retired, and the couple moved to Myrtle Beach, SC.

Harry was very involved in the Boy Scouts organization, serving as Scout Master for Troup 256 in Greenville, SC, for four years. His son, Clint, earned his Eagle Scout and Gold Palm under his father's direction. He was very involved in showing dogs with his daughter, Jan, where they traveled all over the U.S., logging 40,000 miles annually. Harry was an active member of the Greenville Kennel Club, serving as Show Chairman for seven years and President and Board Member, as well. He raised Silky Terriers from 1971-1988, having seven champions, five of which he bred.

Harry was involved in the Piedmont Chapter of DPMA, serving as Treasurer and then President several times.

In 2000, Harry and Maria (Bunny) moved to Bedford, TX, where their daughter Jan lived.

All along his journey through life he was very involved in the church, especially with Our Saviour Lutheran in Greenville, SC. He also served with Westminster Presbyterian Church as a youth advisor before returning to Our Saviour. In Texas, Harry was a member of Calvary Lutheran Church in Richland Hills, TX, serving as Business Manager for several years until his beloved wife's passing in 2006.

Harry was always known in life as Bunny's husband and as Clint or Jan's father, rarely having his own identity. He adored his wife of 13 days short of 50 years and was very proud of his children and their respective accomplishments.

Harry is preceded in death by his parents, John Quincy Eastham and Lucile Twyman Eastham, and his beloved wife, Maria. He is survived by his son, John Clinton Eastham, his daughter-in-law Judith Histon Eastham, and daughter, Jan Leslie Eastham Allred and three grandchildren: Daniel Hunter Eastham, Anna Laine Eastham and Hannah Maria Allred; his close cousins Yvonne Eastham Glover (Minnetonka, MN), Mary Christine McMahon (Arrow Rock, MO) and Ann Kvitle (Lincoln, IL) and their children/grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at the Lutheran Church of Our Saviour, 2600 Wade Hampton Blvd, Greenville SC on Sunday February 2nd at 2 PM. His ashes will rest with Bunny's ashes in the columbarium immediately following the service in the sanctuary. A reception to remember Harry will follow in the fellowship hall. Instead of flowers, a memorial gift can be made to the Lutheran Church of Our Saviour in Harry's name.

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Published in The Greenville News on Jan. 19, 2014