March 27, 2013 in Obituaries

Obituary: Cosgriffe, Harry Arthur

Age 92

(Full-size photo)

COSGRIFFE, Harry Arthur November 10, 1920 - March 23, 2013 Surrounded by devoted family and friends of multiple generations, Harry Cosgriffe, 92, passed away as a sunny but cold spring day brought snow to the Palouse. Harry, who hailed from Harlowton, Montana, would have said, “Looks like we’re getting some moisture.” Harry had several facets to his life. During his last days, he fondly recalled putting up hay using horses and a buck rake as a 20-year-old hay boss on the Winnecook ranch in Central Montana; and boxing as a middleweight in the Army and at Montana State University. He had a particular fondness for his Irish grandfather and his English grandmother, and helped them on their Big Elk ranch during many a summer while he was growing up. One of the highlights of his life was making two trips to Northern Ireland to visit descendants on the Arthur side of his family. A cousin was able to show him the linen mill where his Grandfather Arthur had worked before immigrating to Canada at age 17. Harry’s interest in ranching led to his career in Agricultural Extension in Montana, Washington State, Washington, D.C., and, after retirement from WSU Extension Administration, Amman, Jordan, and the Jordan Valley. He earned a Master of Science at Cornell University and a Ph.D at the University of Chicago in Adult Education. His passion for education influenced his larger family - his children, nieces and nephews. Harry, an anchor in his daughters’ lives, challenged them to be hard-working, independent, thrifty, and forgiving; and to draw up a list of pros and cons before making a decision. His beloved Montana called him back each year. He loved the time spent horseback riding on the Two Dot ranch with his daughters and grandsons. He would gaze upon the Montana vistas and remark, “Have you ever seen such beautiful land?” His last annual trip to Montana was in July of 2012. No story about Harry would be complete without mentioning his zeal for the Mariners and WSU Cougars. An ardent fan, he always celebrated when there was “another Cougar first down!” Harry spent eight years of his life at Bishop Place where he had a large community of friends. He particularly enjoyed bantering with his cronies at breakfast and working the room at lunchtime. He was known to show off his Two Dot two-step as a guest pianist played a favorite tune. His recipe for friendship was simple: He wore a welcoming smile, and when he learned a person’s story, he remembered it. Harry is preceded in death by his loving wife, Peg. Surviving Harry are his three daughters, Kathleen, Susie, and Colleen; his grandchildren, Brady, Ryan, Carina, and Barry (wife Sara and great-grandchildren Ila and Wren); his special friend, June Hausenbuiller; and his many devoted nieces and nephews. Harry would want to thank his family, friends, colleagues, and Bishop Place staff and caregivers for brightening his life. His daughters will host a memorial celebration in the Bishop Place Independent Living social room, 811 SE Klemgard, first floor, at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 30. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Peg Cosgriffe Education Fund, established in 2006 for Bishop Place caregivers pursuing a college education. Donations to this fund can be mailed to Colleen Cosgriffe Vadheim, 825 Alta Vista Place, Fircrest, WA 98466. KIMBALL FUNERAL HOME of PULLMAN, WA is caring for the family. Online condolences may be sent to

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email