Verle Harnasch passed away on Monday, May 4, 2015 at Kadlec Regional Medical Center, Richland, Washington. He was born in Chesaw, Washington on August 15, 1916, the third of seven children, to William and Lucille Harnasch.
In April 1921 the then family of seven moved to Oroville, Wash. by horse and wagon and settled on a small farm just north of town off the road to Canada.
Verle worked throughout his school years on the family farm and helped his dad when hired by others in ranching or agriculture. He graduated from Oroville High School in 1935. After high school he worked in the orchards except for a short time away from Oroville working on the Northern Pacific Railroad in the Tri-Cities and Pullman areas. While working on the railroad he became engaged to Norene Sherwood, whom he had met in Oroville. They were married in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho on July 4, 1942.
Verle became the manager of Bee Kay Orchards, owned by James C Kernan, Sr. and moved on the property in February 1948. Retiring in 1981, Verle and Norene remained living on the property, enjoying 19 years of winters in Arizona, until they moved to an independent living facility in Kennewick, Wash. in 2013.
Verle always kept busy whether it was with working in the orchard, growing his vegetable or flower gardens, or building or repairing something. He enjoyed fishing, boating and water skiing in his more active days. He will always be remembered for his loyalty, his friendly nature – never meeting a stranger, and his quick wit.
Verle is survived by his wife of almost 73 years, Norene, Kennewick, his two daughters, Marsha (Mark) Kuntz, Kennewick, and Nancy Harnasch, Redmond, WA, three grandsons, one granddaughter, their spouses, six great grandchildren, one step great grandchild, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and six siblings.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 12 p.m., Saturday, June 27, at the American Legion in Oroville. Please join in remembering and reminiscing about the joy and fun Verle brought to his family and friends. Donations in his memory can be made to City of Oroville Ambulance, P.O. Box 2200, Oroville, WA 98844