Porterville native Harold Angus Cloer, 89, passed away in Ashland, Oregon, on October 5, 2012. Harold was the grandson of local pioneer, Elisha Lane Cloer, who homesteaded in the Poplar area in 1886. Hal was born on March 14, 1923 in Porterville. His father was James Harold Cloer who was brother to Thomas, Sr., Everette, William Carl, and Myrtle Cloer. His mother was Della Beers Cloer, who came west from Michigan to teach school.
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Harold was extremely active; he was heading to a college class when he fell and suffered a fatal head injury.
Harold grew up on the Cloer family ranch near Poplar during the hard times of the great Depression. He attended Pleasant View Elementary School and graduated from Porterville Union High School, class of 1941.
He was attending the College of the Pacific when Pearl Harbor was bombed; he joined the Navy. He was sent to the University of Oklahoma to complete a degree in electrical engineering. He was commissioned an ensign at the U.S. Naval Academy, had additional training in electronics at Bowdoin College, and served as communications and division officer on an attack cargo ship in the Pacific. After the bombing of Hiroshima and the signing of the peace treaty, he was sent ashore in Japan to see what could be learned about Japanese radar and communication equipment.
After discharge from the Navy, Hal earned a master's degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University and taught electronics at Eastern Arizona Junior College. He later returned to Stanford to obtain a doctorate in counseling and higher education. In 1952, he accepted the position of Director of Guidance Services and Testing at Southern Oregon College of Education. His professional focus was career counseling, social psychology and adult development. His research in those areas resulted in presentations at regional and national psychology conventions. He also attended conventions in Moscow and London.
Hal was an emeritus professor of psychology at Southern Oregon University. He resided in Ashland for 56 years.
Harold thrived on travel and learning. He spent a sabbatical year in Europe attending the University of Grenada in Spain. He skied in Austria, and toured Western Europe in a Karman Ghia. He and Barbara Rankin were married in 1968 and spent a month touring Mexico. The couple took a three-month, 15,000-mile trip around the U.S. in a travel trailer, made six trips to Europe, five trips to Mexico, two to Asia, three to Canada, and cruised the Panama Canal.
Harold was involved in many civic activities in Ashland. He was president of the Ashland Library, interim chairman of the committee of 50 that set policy for the $5.4 million Ashland Redevelopment Project and served on the Citizens Planning Advisory Committee that updated Ashland's Comprehensive Plan. He was a member of the Historic and Planning Commissions and in 2001 he received the Ragland Community Service Award. He was a member of the Rotary Club and the Ashland League of Women Voters.
After several years of health problems, Harold's wife Barbara Cloer, passed away about two months after Harold's death. Harold is survived by his brother, Robert Cloer of Yuba City, sister, Patricia Cloer Chambers of Anaheim, cousin Thomas L. Cloer, Jr., and many nieces and nephews. Hal was a humble and kind man, who will be truly missed.
There will be a Celebration of Life for Harold and his wife on February 16, 2013 in Ashland. Memorial donations can be made to the scholarship funds, Southern Oregon University Foundation, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd, Ashland, OR 97520, www.soufoundation.org.
Published in The Porterville Recorder on Jan. 26, 2013