Harold Withiam, 91, died Monday, January 22. A resident of Longview, Harold was born in Geneva, NY, and grew up on a farm in the town of Seneca. After graduation from Geneva High School in 1944, he joined the Army in 1946, where he learned to read Morse code. He was discharged from active duty in 1947 and continued in the reserve until 1950. When his father, George, died he lived with and cared for his mother, the former Allie Farr. In 1951, he married Norma, and the newlyweds continued to live in Allieâs house, which was eventually filled with four children, Glenn, Alan, Vicki, and Daniel.
Harold was a 35-year employee of the Seneca Army Depot, working first on the roads and grounds crew and later as a driver in the motor pool, a job he enjoyed. In 1954, he partnered with the late Charles Hartman to re-activate Troop One, which was one of the oldest Boy Scout troops in the nation, continuing as a scout leader for over twenty years.A faithful member of the First Baptist Church of Geneva, Harold held a variety of leadership positions. Harold was also an avid gardener, growing tons of vegetables for his family and flowers for his mother (notably, gladiolus).With his love of driving and the outdoors, Harold took his family on many camping trips, including a legendary drive across the country towing a Nimrod tent camper. In retirement, he and Norma became snowbirds, residing in Holiday, Florida, in winter and Teall Beach on Seneca Lake in summer. Harold and Norma toured the world with numerous groups, and enjoyed many ocean cruises, including one where they rode out the Perfect Storm off the Azores. No port visit that day!Harold is survived by Norma, his wife of 65 years; his children, Glenn (Diane), Alan (Sharon Bilotta), Vicki Parker, and Daniel (Alice MacWilliams); grandchildren Kate, Ana, David, Roger, Cailey, Jessica, Lilah, Thomas, and Celeste; eight great-grandchildren; and two great-great grandchildren.A memorial celebration of Haroldâs life will be held at 11:00 a.m., on Saturday, January 27, at the Lansing United Methodist Church, with lunch to follow, as Harold would have wanted. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations in Haroldâs name to Lansing UMC, 32 Brickyard Road, Lansing, NY 14882, or to the charity of oneâs choice.