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Harry Kiesendahl

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KIESENDAHL-Harry Kiesendahl, founder of Woodloch Pines Resort, died in Scranton, PA, Monday, June 5th. He was 80 years old. Harry died peacefully and painlessly after a silent battle with bone cancer; he was surrounded by his family. Harry was born January 16, 1926, to John W. and Agnes (Lintz) Kiesendahl in Ridgewood, NY. He attended Baldwin High School where he met his wife Mary Mould, whom he married in 1944. In 1942 he enlisted in the US Navy where he served on the USS Kendrick until 1945. Upon his return to civilian life he opened two ice cream parlors on Long Island, NY. When his work took time away from his family, he moved his family to the Pocono Mountains where they would work side by side. Thus began the legacy of Woodloch. Woodloch Pines began as a 40-room boarding house and under his direction grew to a resort with 350 rooms and 900 employees. Harry's value of family drove his vision for Woodloch. He achieved his goal to create an environment where families would spend time together. His love of Northeastern Pennsylvania and personal leadership led him to promote tourism in the region and throughout the state. He became a driving force in the tourism industry, recognizing the necessity for organized promotional efforts. He was the founder and first president of the Pennsylvania Travel Council (PTC). As such he developed the state motto, "You've got a friend in Pennsylvania." His leadership and influence have been in no small way responsible for the growth and effectiveness of this organization. He was past chairman of both the PTC and the Governor's Travel Council. He was president of the Pocono Mountain Vacation Bureau (PMVB), Inc. from 19641967 and served on its board of directors, as well as the bureau's executive, budget, and nominating committees until his death. In 1983 he began Hospitality Products and Services, Inc, a distributor of products and services for the resort community. When he was not working Harry was spending time with his family. Whether serving a bountiful meal, leading a bike ride on the beach in Hilton Head, SC, or riding his tractor across his great property in Hawley, PA, his favorite moments were at home with his loved ones. Known as "Uncle Harry" to many, he leaves a family of thousands. He is survived by his loving wife, Mary; three children, John of Hawley, Nancy of Pleasantville, NY, & Steven of Hawley; nine grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his brother, Joseph John Kiesendahl, in 1982. Visiting hours will be at the United Methodist Church on Maple Ave. in Hawley, PA, on Wednesday and Thursday from 2:00pm - 4:00pm and 7:00pm-9:00pm. A private funeral will be held at the family's convenience. Memorial contributions may be made to the Penn State University Kiesendahl Family Endowed Leukemia Research Fund, Penn State University Medical Center, Attn: Pam Lambert, Office of University Development, A120, PO Box 852, Hershey, PA 17033.
Published in Newsday on June 7, 2006
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