Harry Ernest Vandervort, Jr.

Harry Ernest Vandervort, Jr. was born March 26, 1929 in Nore Township and grew up in Northome, Minnesota. He passed away December 29, 2020 from a massive stroke. Harry lived with his wife, Genevra “Jan”, in Blackduck since August, 2008.   Harry was proud of his service to his country enlisting in the U. S. Navy and working his way up through the ranks to become a commissioned officer. He was a Naval aviator for over twenty years, including flying in P2V Neptunes in the 1950’s in Jacksonville Florida. He also had three deployments to Viet Nam co-piloting F4 Phantom fighter jets. He flew hurricane surveillance when flying into the eye of a hurricane to gather data was a new science.   Despite his short stature he was a good athlete. He played varsity basketball in Northome and in his early years in the military, boxed and played basketball for several Navy teams. His love of basketball was lifelong. He was thrilled to coach his grandson’s youth league team and was proud of teaching him to shoot and dribble with his left hand.  He was a natural teacher, patient and able to meet the student where he was, adapting his teaching to the learning style of the student. He was an early adopter of new technologies and was on the leading edge of computers, teaching computerized machine control at what is now Anoka Technical College in the early 1970’s.  He worked for Hewlett-Packard Co. for almost 20 years as a maintenance supervisor in the machine shop and Printed Circuit divisions in Loveland, Colorado and Boise, Idaho. He was a volunteer member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary and spent many hours teaching boating classes and patrolling the difficult bar crossing of the Umpqua River at Winchester Bay, Oregon.  He was always a “people person”, taking great interest in anyone he met, learning about their lives and experiences. He loved animals and always had a dog in his home. Harry was an avid bicyclist, routinely commuting 32 miles each way to work until he retired. He took long bike treks with his son and granddaughter, including riding from Idaho to Oregon when he was in his late 60’s.  Harry was active in the Seventh Day Adventist Church, having served as a teacher and elder.  Harry is survived by his wife of 34 years who continues to live in Blackduck; son Harry Vandervort, III, “Duke”, (Carol) who reside in Creswell, Oregon; former stepdaughter Wanda (David) Wilson who lives in Cohasset, Minnesota; 7 grandchildren, and 7 great grandchildren. Messages of condolence may be sent to ceasefuneralhome.com


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