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Memorial service
Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020
1:00 PM
Holy Cross Catholic Church
5650 Vista Blvd
Sparks, NV
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Harold James Loranger


1929 - 2020
Harold James Loranger Obituary
Harold James Loranger

December 15, 1929 - January 9, 2020

Harry Loranger, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and friend, died peacefully on January 9th at his residence in Sparks, Nevada with Sally, his loving wife of the past 66 years, faithfully by his side. Harry had recently celebrated his 90th birthday.

Harold James Loranger was born December 15, 1929 in Roosevelt, Utah, the son of Henry and Florence Loranger. Henry was a farmer, mainly associated with livestock. Henry and Florence had five sons and a daughter. Harry grew up as a cowboy and competed in local rodeos from the ages of 12 to 16. Upon graduating from Roosevelt High School in 1948, he sold his beloved horse, Beaut, so he could strike out on his own. Harry and a high school pal left for Anaconda, Montana where he went to work in the Anaconda Copper Mining Company's massive copper smelter.

Finding the work in the smelter unsatisfying, Harry left for Salt Lake City where he attended telegraphy school. He then secured a position with the Southern Pacific Railroad where he worked until being drafted by the U.S. Army in the midst of the Korean War. At various points, Harry was stationed in Washington state, New Jersey and Georgia. Eventually, he was sent to St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea where his telegraphy skills were put to good use by the Army. He achieved the rank of Sergeant.

It was Christmas 1951 "when Harry met Sally" while he was on leave in Anaconda. That meeting changed their lives forever. After returning to his post in New Jersey, Harry began corresponding with Sally and vice versa. Several months later, while Harry was again on leave in Anaconda and on his way to Alaska, they were engaged to be married. From August 1952 until his discharge from the Army in February 1953, they wrote to one another every single day.

Harry and Sally were married in May 1953 at St. Paul's Church in Anaconda. Because of his expertise and the seniority he had earned as a result of his two years of military service, he gained a position as a telegrapher in Battle Mountain, Nevada with the Southern Pacific Railroad.

After more than two years in Battle Mountain, Harry and Sally returned to Anaconda where Harry signed on with the Butte, Anaconda & Pacific Railroad which carried copper ore from the mines of Butte to the smelter in Anaconda. Later, Harry shifted careers to become a union carpenter in Butte, Montana. Like many Montanans in the early 1960s, the Lorangers left for greater employment opportunities in Reno, Nevada. Harry continued to work as a carpenter while also working full time as a mail-sorter for the U.S. Postal Service. He eventually went to work for Murphy Brothers Construction Company which was co-owned by Neil Murphy who became a close friend. Harry, who worked for Murphy Brothers for close to 20 years, became the company's lead finish carpenter and foreman. He retired in 1988.

The Lorangers first two children, Dennis (1954) and Dan (1955), were born in Battle Mountain while Harry was working for the Southern Pacific Railroad. Tom (1957) was born in Anaconda, while Tim (1960) and John (1961) were born in Butte. Twins Michael and Michele (1965) were born in Reno.

Through their hard work, selflessness and devotion, Harry and Sally were able to send their seven children to Little Flower, a Catholic elementary school in Reno. The Lorangers's children also attended Veterans Memorial Elementary School, Vaughn Middle School, Wooster High School and Bishop Manogue High School.

Both Harry and Sally imbued a deep love for sports in all of their children. They faithfully attended their childrens' sporting events including traversing Nevada to watch Dennis and Dan's Manogue Miners win multiple state football championships. In Reno, they would shuttle from game-to-game. Baseball season was a particularly busy time when they would sometimes only stay for two innings of one child's game so they could cross town to attend another.

After retiring, Harry and Sally moved to Grass Valley, California where they spent 15 years living in a part of northern California they had frequently visited on casual weekends in earlier years and had come to love. It was in California that they became devoted fans of the Chicago Cubs. "Superstation" WGN, based in Chicago, had started broadcasting Cubs games to a national audience in the 1980s - including Grass Valley. The Lorangers love affair with the Cubs was cemented during those years, and they were overjoyed to witness the Cubs win the World Series in 2016, the club's first championship in 108 years.

Harry also loved music - particularly of the country variety. He enjoyed listening to country legends such as Merle Haggard, Marty Robbins, Dolly Parton, Hank Williams, George Jones and Eddie Arnold.

Eventually, Harry and Sally returned to the Reno area, and settled into a residence in Sparks where they lived in close proximity to several children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and loyal friends.

Harry refused to permit his carpentry skills to languish. He kept busy with his various wood carvings which included beautiful sculptures of everything from a bighorn sheep to baseball slugger Mark McGwire. These carvings are genuine works of art. Yet he never considered himself an artist; he remained a cowboy at heart.

Harold James Loranger is survived by his wife Sally of Sparks, NV: sons Dennis of Dayton, OH (spouse Carol and children Byron and Gabe); Dan of Grass Valley, CA (Shannon); Tom of Arlington, VA (spouse Elizabeth and children Michael, Andrew and Allison); Tim of Sparks, NV (Spouse Beverly and children Kathleen, Molly and Teague); John of Sparks, NV (spouse Denise); Mike of Reno, NV (spouse Kim and children Amelia, Jack, twins Becket and Emerson, and Loic); Michele of Moraga, CA (spouse Bill Pelter and children Will and Elliott); brothers Don of Anaconda, MT (Spouse Virginia); Cecil of Texas; and Sister-in-Law Evelyn of Roosevelt, UT. Also included as beloved family members are Norine Jeppson, Tammy Porto, great-grandchildren Vanessa, Jacqueline and Devlin, and numerous nephews, nieces and other relatives.

Harry was preceded in death by his parents Henry and Florence; brothers Gail (Spouse Margaret); Louis; and sister Lucille (Spouse Elmer).

The Loranger family would like to thank Kindred Hospice for the loving care they provided Harry in the twilight of his life. They also appreciate Harry and Sally's "guardian angel", neighbor Alan Maldonado.

A memorial service will take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, January 18 at Holy Cross Catholic Church; 5650 Vista Blvd.; Sparks, NV 89436.

In lieu of flowers, the Loranger family asks that donations be sent to St Jude Children's Hospital (www.stjude.org/donatetoday).
Published in Reno Gazette-Journal from Jan. 13 to Jan. 14, 2020
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