Family, friends, and fellow Soldiers. Our father, Retired Sergeant Major Harry A. Black passed away December 8th at Holy family hospital in Spokane of natural causes at the age of 92. He slipped away peacefully at 1:10 PM shortly after Joey, his son, and full time caregiver for the past 12 years, stepped away from his bed. Harry will be buried with full military honors including the patriot guard December 30th at Woodbine cemetery at 12:00pm. Eulogy will be given by Shaun Elton followed by a prayer by Father Michael from St. Mary's Catholic Church in Parkland where dad was a member for many years.
Dad was born on June 5th, 1931 in Lancaster PA, to Harry and Kathryn Black. He graduated from Catholic high school and then joined the US Army in 1948. He took the troop train across America, he arrived at Fort Lewis where he was assigned to the 91st Engineer water supply company, then was sent to engineers school at Fort Belvoir, VA. 7 years later he joined the Washington state army national guard reserves full time where he remained until retiring in 1991 at Camp Murray. Dad told me (Joey) when he arrived at FT. Lewis, he and a few other troops not from here, thought it'd be fun to "Walk over to that mountain" (MT. Rainier). Dad said it looked like it was right over the hill, he quickly found out how far it really was.
Dad met mom in 1962 at a dance, they were married soon after, then John was born, followed by Joey 2 years later. Mom passed away in 2013 of natural causes, and in 2021 dad, Joey and their chihuahua Jango, decided to move to Spokane for a quieter life. We both fell in love with the country feel of Spokane, how beautiful it is and the friendly people. Dad said it reminded him of Lancaster.
A few of dad's national guard units were the 144th Transportation battalion (Kent), 1041st Transportation battalion (Tacoma) and his last post was in the Civil service for 20 years at the 6250th army hospital at FT. Lewis log center. Dad ended his career where he started at Ft. Lewis / JBLM with a rank of Retired Sergeant Major as an E9 with 65+ years in the service at the age of 83. Dad told me (Joey) shortly after retiring, that if he had his way, he'd still be working and educating the young soldiers he so loved to help further their careers in the armed forces and in life.
Dad's journey was one of dedication and service. He exemplified the core values of honor, duty, and selfless service. He carried the weight of responsibility with grace, leading by example and earning the respect of his troops. Dad's commitment to the ideals of the military was unwavering, a testament to his character and the sacrifices he made to safeguard our nation.
Dad's devotion to his Catholic beliefs was a guiding light in his life. Whether at work or in his everyday interactions, his moral compass was steadfast. He found strength in prayer and solace in his unwavering faith, a source of inspiration for all who knew him.
Harry is survived by his sons John and Joey Black and grandchild Christopher Black.
A public service will be in Puyallup where dad will be laid to rest next to mom at Woodbine cemetery. Dad will have full military honors, including the patriot guard to give him a proper veteran send off which is what he told me he would like. If you knew our dad, please join us in saying goodbye, we'd love to see you and hear your stories of our dad.
Public viewing will be 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM at Hill funeral home 217 E. Pioneer in Puyallup and then graveside services will be at 12:00 PM at Woodbine Cemetery 2323 9th ST SW, Puyallup in the old section.