OBITUARY: Harry John Galperin
November 2, 2012
2/24/1920 – 10/30/2012
After a short bout with congestive heart failure, Harry Galperin, died peacefully in the loving surroundings of his two daughters and two identical-twin granddaughters in Carson City. Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Harry served in the U.S. Army during World War II, in both the Pacific theatre, and the European theatre, from May of 1942 until his honorable discharge in January 1946, as a Sergeant. He was an air crewman on the B-17 “Flying Fortress”. He and his crew survived a “wheels-up landing” in Hawaii after a round trip flight to the Midway Islands.
Harry married Elsie Hutchings in 1949, and helped raise her three children, Kay O’Brien of Carson City, NV; John Napolitano (deceased August 2008) of Sherman Oaks, CA; and Sharon Powers of Carson City, NV. Grandchildren include John’s children Jonette (the Rock ‘N Roll star), Patricia, John Jr., Patrick and Angela, all in southern CA; Kay’s children Michael and Carolyn, both in southern CA; and Sharon’s daughter Jessica of Carson City, NV. Harry also had ten great grandchildren.
Harry is also survived by his “adopted” son Bruce Cable and family, who began calling him Papa Harry, after Elsie died. Upon arriving in South Lake Tahoe on New Year’s Eve 1991, Bruce was surprised by Harry walking next door to help unload his U-Haul truck… at MIDNIGHT! That is the kind of person Harry was… always eager to help other people.
After his military service, Harry worked for a lumber company in Bridgeport, before moving to Hollywood, CA in 1954. He worked as an automobile mechanic for several different dealerships in the Los Angles area until 1988, when he and Elsie moved to South Lake Tahoe, living in the Al Tahoe neighborhood.
In Lake Tahoe, Harry worked in Building and Maintenance for Harvey’s and later Barney’s. He spoke fondly of Harvey Gross and the Ledbetter family as being wonderful bosses. He worked approximately 4-5 years as a greeter at McDonalds, Long’s and CVS until his reluctant (and restless) retirement about 5 years ago. Harry was a true “people person,” always ready to share jokes and stories. He enjoyed playing Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, handing out candy to kids, as a volunteer for Christmas Cheer during the holidays. Harry always considered himself to be a “recycled teenager.”
Harry loved puttering in his “hardware store” (a.k.a. his garage), repairing items returned by customers to Long’s and CVS, and making things for friends. In the process, he lost two fingertips during a “too-close-of-an-encounter” with his table saw. Harry loved fishing on Lake Tahoe, usually with his buddy Kit, and on occasion with fishing-charter captains Kombiz and Mike.
A graveside service will be held at Happy Homestead Cemetery (1261 Johnson Blvd., So. Lake Tahoe, CA 96150) at 1 p.m. on Saturday, November 17, 2012. A “wake” will be held at Sharon’s home (877 Meadow Vista, Carson City, NV 89705: phone 775-267-3659) at noon on Sunday, November 18, 2012, for those who wish to celebrate Harry’s life with his family and friends.