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Harry Georgeson, 95, virtually a lifelong resident of Roslyn Washington, whose mechanical skills and unique personality were well known in Upper Kittitas County and beyond, passed away October 1, 2013.
A Military Service will take place at the Roslyn Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 1:00 p.m., with a Celebration of Life to follow at the Ronald School.
Harry was born December 15, 1917 in Weshoughton, Lancashire England, the eldest child of Bertie and Margaret (Bowden) Georgeson. He immigrated with his parents and younger sister Lily, to the United States when he was 5 years old. The family lived in Gallup, New Mexico the first few months, and then moved to Roslyn. Harry attended school in Roslyn through the 8th grade then Cle Elum High School, graduating in 1937.
Harry married Beverly 'Tootsie' June Hawkins in 1951 and they made their home in Roslyn, where they have lived ever since. They had three children, Dee Ann, Teri and Stan, and celebrated their 62nd anniversary in September.
While growing up in Roslyn Harry developed his love for the outdoors while exploring the forests around town. His Dad bought him a .22 riffle when he was 8, which he used to hunt rabbits and squirrels. He loved to hunt and did so for most of his life. He was also an avid fisherman. He enjoyed fishing the Cle Elum, Yakima, and Teanaway rivers. Fish Lake was one of his favorite destinations; he made his first trip there in 1929 and returned almost every year, including this past summer.
Developing an early interest in mechanics, Harry built a Model T from parts he could find. The first part was an old engine given to him that he brought home in a wheelbarrow. He took the Model T to Fish Lake towing a small trailer so his friends could go along. He made a point of keeping to the back roads since the vehicle was not licensed - nor was he. He went to work for Joe Schwab at Roslyn Motors in 1934 and worked there through high school. He enjoyed motorbikes, owning a 1917 Harley Davison and a tote goat that he built for use on mountain trails. Being a gifted motorcyclist, Harry taught his nephew, Jim, to ride a bicycle backwards. Harry rode for most of his life, maintaining his motorcycle endorsement until the early 1990s. His interest in mechanics extended to airplanes, and he received his private pilot license in 1947.
In 1937 Harry went to work for the Northwestern Improvement Company at Mine #5 shoveling the snow out of railroad cars. He later worked on the #5 tipple, then went to work on the tipple at Mine #9. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1941, but served only a short time due to severe illness. While in the Army he gained additional training as a mechanic.
Harry began his long employment with Kittitas County in 1942, first working as a truck driver and then as a heavy equipment operator. For most of his time with the county he was the mechanic at the shop in Cle Elum, retiring in December on 1979.
But, retirement did not stop Harry being a mechanic. If he was not camping, fishing, or hunting, Harry could be found in his shop working on lawn mowers, snow blowers, chain saws, snowmobiles, etc. He was renowned for taking several broken-down machines and making an operable one from parts. He often worked on equipment that was obsolete, and when he could not find parts he would fabricate them. Machines usually left his shop in better than new condition.
Harry's interests went beyond his love for mechanics and the outdoors. He kept up on current events in the nation and the world. He was always eager to expand his knowledge by way of book, or television program, and he loved to get in discussions on such matters. He was a gifted storyteller and poet with an amazing memory for details along with a razor-sharp wit that kept longtime friends and new acquaintances alike entertained for hours.
Harry is survived by his wife, Tootsie, daughter Teri (husband George) Greene of Roslyn; son Stan (wife Robin) of Roslyn; grandsons Michael Greene and Robert Georgeson; granddaughters Tiffany Greene, Kelsey Greene, and Courtney Georgeson; sister-in-law Barbara Georgeson of Roslyn; nephew Jim (wife Sharon) Georgeson of Cle Elum; nieces Diane (husband Billie) Barr of Redmond, Washington; Debbie (husband Frank) Slack of South Cle Elum; Sally (husband Rick) Conway of Cle Elum; and Sue Hoffine of Yakima; as well as many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; his daughter Dee Ann, his sister Lilly Klobucar, his brother Fred (Hawk) Georgeson; and his niece Cheri DeVere.
The family suggests that memorials be made to the Veterans Memorial Cemetery of Roslyn, P.O. Box 482, Roslyn, WA 98941; the Roslyn Cemetery Beneficial Association, P.O. Box 156, Roslyn, WA 98941; or a
. Online tributes can be left at www.dignitymemorial.com
Published in Daily Record from Oct. 15 to Oct. 22, 2013