Ernest Clynn Harpham, 92, a 46-year resident of Whidbey Island, died at Whidbey General Hospital on March13, 2002.
Mr. Harpham was born Aug. 11, 1909, in Holstein, Neb., to Samuel Ernest Harpham and Maude Emily (Moffitt) Harpham. He grew up on the family farm. At age four, he moved with his family to Hastings, Neb. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in Omaha, Neb., in 1932, and served with the Navy in the Pacific Fleet as a radioman. He was assigned to DD236, stationed in San Diego, and took one of the original radio messages on the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He served through World War II and also during the Korean Conflict. He was stationed at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C., and while there, he was married to Eva Shahan.
Mr. Harpham was retired as a chief petty officer on July 12, 1953. He returned to his parents’ family home in Idaho, where he began working for the state of Idaho. He then went into federal civil service, where he worked at Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah, as an electrical technician for three years.
Mr. Harpham was transferred to Whidbey Island Naval Air Station in 1956, where he worked as an electrical technician in ground electronics and then as supervisor of ground electronics until he retired in 1969. He was married to Doris N. Martin in 1961. Doris was the owner of White Acres Nursing Home in Freeland.
Mr. Harpham lived on Pennington Hill in Coupeville, in Freeland on East Harbor Road and then to Ledgewood Beach where he lived for 28 years. He worked as a realtor, owning Twin View Real Estate in Oak Harbor and Greenbank. After the death of his wife, Doris, Mr. Harpham moved to Oak Harbor, where he lived for a time in Summer Hill Retirement Community.
Mr. Harpham was a life member of Whidby Island Lodge No. 15, F&AM, Coupeville; Gateway Lodge No. 2362 in Clearfield, Utah; a charter member of the Oak Harbor Elks Lodge No. 2362; a past treasurer of the Coupeville Lions Club; also, a past director of the Washington State Association of Realtors. He was active in the associations of the ships on which he served including the USS Nevada, USS Titania, USS Bowditch, USS Nestor and the USS Vestal, attending annual reunions on a regular basis.
He is survived by two stepsons, Brian E. Martin of Coupeville and Theodore J. Martin of Fairfield, Calif., and their wives and families; one brother, Wesley David Harpham and his wife of Pecos, Texas, a sister-in-law and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his first wife Eva and his second wife Doris, his parents and his brother, Samuel Virgil Harpham.
Visitation will be Friday, March 22 from 1-4 p.m. and Saturday, March 23, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., followed by a funeral service at 1p.m. in Burley Funeral Chapel, Rev. Mary Petrina Boyd officiating. Masonic Rites and interment will follow at Sunnyside Cemetery, immediately followed by military honors, under the auspices of NAS Whidbey Honor Guard. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to your favorite charity. Arrangements under direction of Burley Funeral Chapel, Oak Harbor.