Eulogy by Julie George
Thank you all for joining the Harrold Family in honoring the life of our Dad Hugh Harrold.
My Dad accomplished many amazing things in his 88 years. My Dad was most proud of his service defending the United States of America in WWII. He enlisted in the Navy shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and served as a submariner aboard the USS Cabezon (SS-334). He loved our country and he would have gladly laid down his life for her.
My Dad was an impressive athlete. As a young man, he enjoyed playing baseball and was a light-weight boxer. As a middle-aged man, he took up running and biking. He finished no worse than 18th in several New York City Marathons, the Dublin Marathon and the Boston Marathon. When he turned 60, he decided to run 60 miles in one weekend to prove to himself and others just how “T-U-F-F” he really was. My Dad was in his early sixties when he did a cross country bike trek to raise money for the American Lung Association. Dad possessed extremely impressive determination, endurance and strength.
Born at home in Pawtucket, RI on Christmas Eve 1925, he was the second of 8 children. He was raised in an Irish, Catholic home. He was a lefty, he tapped danced as a child, and he was a gifted and talented writer. He was a Red Sox fan, a match book collector and a dapper dresser. He worked in NYC for over 30 years. He absolutely loved that city and enjoyed the simple life of fishing, clamming, camping, hiking, swimming and (of course) “a few” cold beers at the American Legion Hall.
We all have weaknesses and strengths. Dad was a legend in his own mind when it came to home improvements. Once, when he was mowing the lawn, it got clogged with grass. He attempted to fix the mower while it was still running and mangled his hand and took off part of a finger. Another episode was clearing some shrubs so the meter man could read it. He hit an electrical wire and almost electrocuted himself. Once when he was in the attic above the garage he sawed a circle and fell through and broke his arm.
Most of my father’s successful repairs were done with duct tape. It fixed the towel rack in the bathroom, the bumper on the car and the split in his jogging suit. He tried several decorating jobs at 28 Ryder’s Lane. However, his entrance hall brick wall was the job he was most proud of. He didn’t seem to notice that the bricks were going uphill instead of straight.
My father did his best to provide for us and to take care of us. When we were sick with high fevers, he sponged us down. When local doctors were unable to figure out my sister’s constant kidney infections, he took her to Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia. I remember my father taking my brothers to wrestling matches, Indian Guides and fishing trips. I remember whenever my Mom was in the hospital having another baby, my Dad cooked us pancakes for dinner. He took my brother Mike to the ER three times in one week for stiches.
When my sister Robbin saw an advertisement for the Little Miss America Beauty Pageant, she wanted to compete. Mary, Bobby and I were laughing at her because she had wild blonde hair and a lazy eye. My Dad was determined to make her wish come true. He placed Robbin in our white station wagon while she was still in her slip and with curlers in her hair. Her fancy new dress was hung on a hanger so it wouldn’t get wrinkled. They returned much later that day from Palisades Park, New Jersey where the beauty pageant was held. Robbin didn’t win but he told us she was one of the prettiest girls there.
I am sad to have lost My Dad but I am relieved that he is no longer suffering. I hope and pray he is at peace.
There is a saying “When someone you love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure.”
I would like to close with an American Indian Prayer that he enjoyed:
Oh Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds, and whose breath gives life to all the world, hear me! I am small and weak; I need your strength and wisdom. Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset. Make my hands respect the things you have made and my ears sharp to hear your voice. Make me wise so that I may understand the things you have taught my people. Let me learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock. I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother, but to fight my greatest enemy-myself. Make me always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes. So when life fades, as the fading sunset, may my spirit come to you without shame.