Veteran, engineer, business owner
Raymond Sidney Harwood died peacefully at his home on November 19, 2016 with his family at his side. He was 90 years old.
He was born on January 19, 1926 at Pomona Valley Hospital to Alfred Edwin and Alice Sidney Holabird Harwood. He was of hardy New England stock, being the 10th generation of the Harwood family on North American soil. He was very proud of his heritage; his ancestors helped to found the city of Bennington, Vermont.
Ray spent his childhood years in Claremont (a city planned and platted by his great uncle Holabird) and La Verne. He attended Bonita High School, and then enlisted in the US Army. He served our country with honor, fighting with the 393rd Infantry Regiment, 99th Division. He was wounded by sniper fire on the Elsenborn ridge during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II, for which he was awarded the Purple Heart. After returning from the war, Mr. Harwood completed his college education at California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, earning a degree in HVAC engineering.
In 1953 he married the love of his life, Dolores Marie Sandstedt. After settling down in Pomona, they had four children, Craig Edwin, Bryant Steven, Scott Robert and Juliana Marie. After working at a number of small specialty engineering firms in the Inland Empire, Mr. Harwood joined Lok Products, a division of General Electric. He was instrumental in bringing integrated air distribution systems within the ceiling design to the architectural building industry, including overseeing the new headquarters of General Dynamics in Pomona. Later, as he advanced in his career, he was made responsible for global sales for Lok Products and consulted on many recognizable building structures from California to the Middle East. After leaving Lok Products, he co-founded Integrated Marketing Concepts and later Harwood Construction, both servicing the same commercial construction market.
Ray was extremely active with church, his family and his community. He is a former scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 102, and loved being outdoors. He lead the troop on a number of 50-mile hikes through the dome lands of the southern Sierra Nevada mountains. He especially loved to be out on the golf course, and became a fixture at the Claremont course before it closed in 2014. He was also an avid wood carver; he especially liked carving various songbirds and painting them. He was a member of First Lutheran Church in Pomona and later a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Claremont, where he was a proud member of the board of trustees. He volunteered for 20 years at Pomona Valley Community Hospital, greeting everyone with a smile.
Ray was a devoted husband and father who will be sorely missed by his family, his friends and the community. “He was a fine man with a huge heart. He is leaving a big hole in the world with his passing,” his family shared. “We will miss you so much, Dad!”
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Dolores “Dee”. He leaves his son and daughter-in-law, Craig and Kathleen Marie Swanson Harwood; grandson Daniel Robert Teodor Harwood; granddaughter Ivy Joy Elliott and her husband Randall Duane Hinrichs, with great-grandsons Henry Randall Craig and Marvin Daniel Bean Hinrichs; and grandson Cooper Edwin Sidney and his wife Natalie Anne Warbasse Harwood, with great-granddaughter Scout Matilda Harwood, all in Iowa.
He also leaves his son and daughter-in-law, Bryant “Buzz” and Elaine Marie Kvenvik Harwood; granddaughter Lisa Marie and her husband Scott Zengel, with great-grandson Braden Riley Zengel, all of California; and grandson Keith Steven and his wife Cheryl Ann Barker Harwood, with great-grandson George Robert and great-granddaughter Mary Ann Harwood, all in Illinois.
He is also survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Scott and Denise Marie Witt Harwood; granddaughter Christine Marie Elias; great-grandsons Ryan Edward Scott and Caleb Raymond Nicholas Elias; and granddaughters Kelly Marie and Casey Marie Harwood, all in California. Finally, he leaves his daughter, Juliana Harwood Klein, also in California.
Services will be held Saturday, November 26 at 10 a.m. at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 1700 N. Towne Ave., Claremont. A private burial will follow at Oak Park Cemetery in Claremont.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the Veterans of Foreign Wars by issuing a check to Band of Brothers Post 12034 and mailing it to 1695 Curtiss Court, La Verne, CA 91750.