Harold E. Thiesen
May 29, 1923 -March 19, 2014
Harold Thiesen, known as “Hale” to many of his friends in the Brookings-Harbor community, passed away in his home on Wednesday, March 19, at the age of 90, with his beloved daughter Janet nearby.
He departed peacefully. His last view was over the Pacific to the horizon on a bright sunny day.
Harold was born May 29, 1923, in Glendora, Calif. He enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard in 1942, and completed four years of wartime service as a boatswain’s mate, second class. He was awarded the American Theater of Operations medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Theater medal, and the World War II Victory medal.
His pride in the Coast Guard continued through his life, and he loved watching patrol boats and helicopters operating along the coast. He began each day by proudly hoisting the “Stars and Stripes” in front of his home with a snappy hand salute.
Following military service, Harold joined the Friden Calculator Company in Portland. He rose to the position of regional manager in Eugene and Salem, serving clients from Bend to Coos Bay.
He married Daphne Lowe, the company’s Portland secretary, in August 1947.
Returning from a trip to Southern California in 1972, the couple drove through Brookings, fell in love with the area, and bought a home overlooking the ocean. They became dedicated beachcombers, collecting driftwood up and down the coast and creating beautiful works that won many awards in local competitions. Daphne passed away in 1997.
Harold worked as purchasing agent for the Brookings School District, served on the city council budget committee, and had great fun campaigning for honorary mayor.
In 1998 he and Alta Murphy were married. They remained together until she was diagnosed with late-stage dementia in 2013.
Harold is survived by daughter Janet Thiesen of Woodburn, close friends Paul and Nancy Jenny and Jim and Virginia Collis of Brookings, and Lorraine Signourney of Longmont, Colo.
He will be remembered as a gentleman, and a gentle man. His ashes will be scattered at sea by fellow Coast Guardsmen.
From his daughter:
My Dad — the sun rose and has now set on him. He was one of a kind — jovial, fun, positive, sharp, inquisitive, an exceptional father, neighbor, and friend — and quite proud of being 90 years old.
Hale loved beauty — music, flowers, photography, the ever-changing sea, sunsets over the ocean, and his brandy.
He and my mother married when I was five, and we adopted each other when I was 28.
It is a privilege to be part of his life. Hale sweet Hale, I will always love you.
Submitted by his daughter.