HAWAII — Grover Claud Harms Sr., age 84, a longtime resident of Lebam, Wash., died October 11, 2016, due to complications from pneumonia at Castle Medical Center in Kailua, Hawaii.
Grover was born on Nov. 1, 1931, to Virgil and Matilda “Tilly” Harms in Onalaska, Wash. After graduating from South Bend High School in 1950, Grover enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was first stationed at the San Diego Naval Station, Calif. He then served on the USS Boxer aircraft carrier during the Korean War. After the war, he was stationed at Coronado Naval Air Station, Calif., Lake Meade Base near Las Vegas, Nev., on the USS Shangri-la aircraft carrier out of San Diego, Calif., on a destroyer escort out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, at the U.S. Naval Station Yokosuka and U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka, Japan, and finally at Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego, Calif.
After 14 years of serving in the Navy, he received a medical discharge/retirement and returned to South Bend, Wash., where he earned a living buying old houses and buildings, and remodeling and selling them, as well as serving as the South Bend Chief of Police for six months. He also worked as a salmon buyer for Washington Crab Producers in Westport before taking a job with Coast Oyster out of South Bend as an oyster seed buyer working in Matsushima, Sendai, Japan. After working in Japan for over four years, his job took him to Seoul, Korea. While flying back from a business trip in Korea, he met Shoko Katakura originally from Koriyama, Japan. They fell in love and were married on August 27, 1971, at the Episcopal Church in South Bend, Wash. They were married 42 years until her death in 2014. In the late ‘70s, he finished working for Coast Oyster than began to work full-time on his farm in Lebam, Wash. Primarily a tree farm, he also raised cattle and other livestock but his passion was with growing Douglas fir and Alder trees.
During his lifetime, Grover was also the owner and publisher of two local newspapers: the Harbor Pilot and South Bend Journal, and was one of the founders of the Pacific County Press as well as the sole publisher of the Willapa Trouble Shooter. Grover was also a member of the Free Masons and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
He is survived by his son, Grover (Sonny) Harms Jr. of Honolulu, Hawaii and his sisters, Elinor Patterson, Katherine Vining, Charlotte Carter and Helen Gray, all of whom reside in Yuma, Ariz.
Grover will be cremated and his ashes will be spread at Waikiki Beach, Hawaii and Ocean Shores, Wash., where Shoko’s ashes were spread as well as at the entrance to his farm in Lebam, Wash., on Harms’ Way.
More information is available via Facebook at www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009167437978 (Grover Harms Sr.)