He apprenticed to become an aircraft tool and die maker in Southern California.
Although exempt from being drafted, because his other brothers were in the Navy, he joined the WWII effort in the Navy as well in 1943.
He became a Landing Craft operator supporting the effort to overtake Japan with his assignment to land and supply troops on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, Japan.
He received a Navy Unit Commendation along with six other operators for his repeated support landings for the Marine infantry during the 18-day battle on that island.
After the landing, he took over as the lead machinist at the island’s repair shop for the next 18 months.
He was honorably discharged in 1946.
He returned to Van Nuys, CA., where he purchased co-ownership of a gas station and repair shop.
In 1949, he met and married widower Helen (Nicolopulos) Luke.
Harry, Helen, and Helen’s six year old daughter Billie moved to Idaho to farm where Harry also held a job at a local car dealership as a mechanic.
His son George was born in Moscow, ID.
With the completion of Grand Coulee Dam and the associated Columbia Basin Irrigation system in 1951, Harry and two of his brothers bought land in Quincy, WA., to clear and prepare for irrigated farming.
Daughter Pauline was born in Soap Lake, WA., in 1953.
The family remained in Quincy for 47 years, performing auto repairs, farming, storing produce, and renting farmland and housing to the local communities.
Helen and Harry retired in 1998 to Richland, WA where they lived next door to Billie and Keith Ker until 2010 when Helen passed away at the age of 94.
They were married 61 years.
Harry moved to a Dementia Care Unit in Spokane, WA., until his passing.
They are survived by all three children: Keith and Billie (Luke/Larson) Ker of Richland, WA., George and Kathleen (Carroll) Larson of Albany, OR., and Peter and Pauline (Larson) Bogert; six grandchildren: Stephanie Ker of Kent, WA., Luke Ker of Kennewick, WA., Bill and Lola (Del Pozo) Ker of Lake Stevens, WA., Joe Larson of Corvallis, OR., Christopher and Masami (Kajihara) Bogert of Osaka, Japan, and Jack Bogert of Spokane, WA; and one great-grandchild: Eli Ker of Lake Stevens, WA.
Harry will be cremated with family services to follow next spring.
Please make contributions in Harry’s name to your local Hospice Units.
The family invites you to sign their online tribute wall at www.muellersfuneralhomes.com.