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Obituary

 

  

Harold Fredrick Neuwirth
April 1, 1925 - August 28, 2018

Harold (Harry) Fredrick Neuwirth died on August 28, 2018 in Salem, Or at age 93. He was born on April 1, 1925 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, the son of Christ H. Neuwirth and Anna (Ehler) Neuwirth, emigrants from Siberia and Germany respectively. Harry lived at home until accepted into the army upon graduation from Sheboygan North High School in 1943 (where he reveled in the thrill of playing football).  Sheboygan is on the western shore of Lake Michigan which provided thousands of fish dinners to men & women fishing from her piers each day during the depression.  Harry’s upbringing forged a work ethic and devotion to his family and his country that endured until the day he died.

Harry traveled on a railroad train for the first time in his life on his way to The Great Lakes Naval Station to be inducted into the Army.  Several days later he was on another train on his way to an Army airfield in Biloxi, Mississippi where the U.S.O., on the evening of his arrival, welcomed him with the Harry James band in a hanger big enough to hold the south side of Sheboygan. That is where he also gained his first glimpse of his near future: a B-29!

He served for two years in the Army Air Corps, six months of that on the island of Guam flying twenty five combat missions over Japan as a gunner on a B-29 bomber crew.  At war’s end his (and hundreds of similar crews) flew a no-bombs `Show of Force’ mission over Tokyo Bay and the Battleship Missouri as the terms of peace were being signed there.  Returning stateside he was discharged from the army as a young sergeant. The Army Air Corps was disbanded at that time.

Harry eventually moved from Sheboygan to Oregon by way of Southern California. In Oregon he encountered a weak job market that rejected his applications all over Salem. He had the good fortune to find Pentacle Theater which was seeking someone to protect their equipment and materials from other renters of the hall they occupied: He lived in the right wing of Pentacle’s temporary home.

It was at Pentacle that he met Salem native and Willamette U. alumna Caroline “Caddy” Matter who,  along with The Laue’s, helped to found Pentacle Theater. While at Pentacle Harry `acted’ as a nervous understudy to whoever asked.  The luckiest immigrant from California and the best known beauty in Salem, Harry and Caddy married in her mother’s beautiful Salem flower garden on September 6, 1961. The new couple weathered the October Storm of ‘62 in a tiny cottage at the summit of Skyline Road with their infant son Daniel Anthony (Born 7/15/62), eventually moving to Silverton where their second child, Nancy Anna was born on the last day of 1964.

Harry worked for twenty three years as a letter carrier with the U.S. Postal Service in Silverton, retiring in 1985.  Over the years the couple found great pleasure in converting their unimproved acre-on-Silver-creek into a showplace. Caroline also played violin with the Salem Symphony and Harry sang baritone with the Representatives Quartet and the Salem Senateaires. With both activities on Thursday evenings the children enjoyed the luxury of TV at Grandma Vestal (Matter) Loveall’s every week!  Harry and Caroline shared twenty five very happy years before Caroline died peacefully in her sleep on Dec. 27, 1986.

Retired from the postal service, Harry drove school bus in Salem for several years where a fellow driver told him of a `gracious widow’ living in Ontario, Or. Peggy Boyer and Harry managed to negotiate a long distance romance and married in 1988. They honeymooned in Europe and then made their home in Silverton. In July of 2001 the couple reluctantly sold their Silverton house-on-the creek to take up residence at The Springs at Sunnyview in Salem where they happily settled into life in a retirement community.  Peggy lived with cancer for six years, ultimately passing away in February of 2013.

Harry also volunteered throughout his retirement: at a local school teaching kids to read, at the Salem Library, at the Oregon Garden and at his retirement community as a member of the Resident Council.

Harry took a thousand magnificent memories with him. He is survived by both of his children: Dan (Trina) and Nancy (Tim) and two beloved grandchildren, Elias Paul and Peyton Caroline Stuckart of Sublimity. His family is eternally grateful for the compassionate care he received from Willamette Valley Hospice the last weeks of his life.

A memorial service will be held Sunday, September 30 at 1:00 pm at The Springs at Sunnyview in Salem. All who knew Harry are welcome to attend.

Obituary written by Harry Neuwirth prior to his death.
 

 
 

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