Leonard Avery Airhart

Born January 27, 1924, in Everett, to Bessie (Waldron) and Charles Flick. Leonard died October 13, 2012, at Grays Harbor Community Hospital. He later changed his name to honor his step-father, Everett Airhart.

Leonard graduated from Weatherwax High School in 1941, and spent some time at an aviation mechanics trade school in Eugene, Oregon, before joining the Navy. He was serving in the Hawaiian Islands as an aviation machinist when WWII ended. Returning home at war’s end,he married Emily Davidson of Aberdeen. She survives at the family home.

Leonard and Emily spent a few of their early years together living in Parkland. While in Parkland they befriended Rhoda and Perry Roscoe, a close, wonderful friendship that has remained strong to this day. Later they moved back to Aberdeen where they made their home and raised their family. Leonard began work delivering ice for the old ice plant, then moved on to become an assistant manager at the Marshall-Wells hardware store. He worked for many years at the F.G. Foster Company in Hoquiam and later retired as a manager for Industrial Electric Service Company of Aberdeen. He was very active in his community. He and Emily received the Aberdeen Museum’s Harborite of the Year honor in 2007, and the Aberdeen Revitalization Movement’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.

A driving force in his life was providing for his family. He had started working at a young age, always contributing to the family finances. He began driving at age 11, helping haul stove wood with his grandfather. While he loved to hunt and dig clams, there was also always the added bonus of bringing food to the family table.

Leonard was a remarkable man who valued honor, family and friendship above all. His children learned that the only person whose opinion of you mattered was the person that looked back at you from the mirror in the morning. He showed them by example that the way to live your life is to always do the right thing and damn the consequences. His children were raised with high expectations but no one believed in them more than he did. That support allowed them to take on life’s challenges with confidence because they always knew he was right there behind them.

His passion for friends and family knew few boundaries and Leonard was beloved by a large, extended family and many, many friends. Before grandchildren came along, he “adopted” neighbor kids to spoil. When the grandchildren arrived, he simply added them to the spoiling list. Nieces and nephews, in-laws or cousins, family was family and he loved them all. They will remember his laughter, his legendary storytelling and how he was always ready to step up to help them. He loved to play cards, travel, and spend time at his vacation home in Ocean Shores. But most of all he valued every moment spent with his family.

Capable and respected in his community, Leonard was the type of man that when he spoke, people tended to listen. He served on the City of Aberdeen Planning Commission and for years as a member of the City’s Citizen’s Advisory Board. He was a long time troop committee member for Boy Scout Troop 5 of Aberdeen and as a father, grandfather and beyond, donated hours of time to Robert Gray School activities. Active membership in the Grays Harbor Rock and Gem Club was a result of his love of rockhounding.

The development and operation of the Aberdeen Museum of History was of particular importance to Leonard. He was very proud of the museum and that Aberdeen had such a wonderful facility. It was like his second home and he loved to guide visitors through the exhibits and tell stories of his community’s colorful past. His involvement stretched back to the earliest meetings when a museum was no more than a dream for the future. From those early beginnings he played a vital role in turning that vision into a reality, then working to make the reality special. He had served in a variety of leadership positions and performed every imaginable task while donating countless hours to help make the museum what it is today.

Whether it was building an exhibit, helping to formulate policy or giving a tour, he did whatever they needed. His many skills and talents came in handy whether it was wiring up lights or driving the museum’s Model T in a local parade. His dedication stayed strong for decades and he was an almost daily volunteer until recent health issues prevented him from continuing his work there.

A loving husband, father, grandfather and greatgrandfather he is survived by his wife, Emily; daughters, Kathryn (Evan) Wong of Middleton, Massachusetts, Nancy (Jack) Cuyle of Olympia, and Rebecca (John) Carossino of Aberdeen; and son, Anthony (Laurie) of Aberdeen.

Leonard opened his arms to a large and much loved blended family of more than 30 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Also surviving are a sister, Melva (Hugh) Emerson; and brother Jack Flick of Wisconsin. He was preceded in death by his parents; and step-parents, Everett Airhart, Peg Flick and Archie Thompson; a brother, Sydney McCann; and sisters, Iris Nordness and Laurie Neckhash.

A memorial gathering will be held at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, November 10, 2012, at the Aberdeen Museum of History and the family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be given to the Friends of the Aberdeen Museum, PO Box 722 , Aberdeen, WA, 98520.

To sign the online book of memories or to light a memorial candle please visit www.harrisonfamilymortuary.com. Arrangements are entrusted to Harrison Family Mortuary of Aberdeen.