SPOTSYLVANIA, Va. - George Abraham Harriger of Spotsylvania, Va., and formerly of Houghton, died at the age of 99 on Tuesday, Feb.7, 2012, at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center. He would have celebrated his 100th birthday May 27, 2012.
He was active and living with his nephew and his wife, William (Bill or Sonny) and Linda Ison up until a couple of days before his death.
He was preceded in death by his parents, William C. and Nora M. (nee Bullard) Harriger; siblings, Harry, Albert, Viva, James, Michael, Grace, Minnie and Beatrice; a half-brother and sister, Alvin and Della and several other precious family members, including George's niece, Virginia Slater with whom he resided for one year before her death in 2010.
He is survived by many nieces and nephews, grandnieces and nephews and great-grandnieces and nephews, living both locally and throughout the United States. George also had some very special friends who have cared for him throughout his later years, including Wayne Volk, Mary and Mike Lowney and their family and Mike and Kathy Sheehy.
George was born in Mendon, Mich., and at the age of 4, moved to the Upper Peninsula where he was raised on a farm in McMillan.
He was Methodist by his declaration, but his God presided in the Upper Peninsula outdoors of which he loved to the core of his being.
George fought valiantly for the freedom of his country in World War II as part of a cannon company during all four of the European battles.
After the war, he earned his GED and went to machinist school in Ironwood. A resident of Houghton for 64 years, he worked as a machinist for C&H Mining Company in Hancock and then for the U.S. Forestry before retiring in later years.
George was an inventor and had a patent on a hydraulic bicycle and was working on a magnetic engine. He loved fishing and hunting in the U.P. and also loved gardening and photographing wildlife and flowers.
He had many neighbors and friends in the Houghton area and beyond that cared lovingly for him.
George was honored in 2011 by the Tahquamenon Area School District with his high school diploma at age 99. He had earned that honor many years before, but the paperwork never reached him due to Lincoln High School in McMillan being closed.
He was a lifetime and active member of American Legion Post 186 in Hancock for many years.
The family will receive friends at the Beaulieu Funeral Home in Newberry, Tuesday, Feb. 14 from 5 to 7 p.m. and also at Newberry United Methodist Church on Wednesday, Feb. 15 from 10 to 11 a.m. Funeral services will be at the church at 11 a.m., with Reverend Saundra J. Clark officiating. Interment with military honors will take place in the spring in the East Lakefield Cemetery.
Memorials may be directed to American Legion Post 186 in Hancock or American Legion Post 74 in Newberry in George's memory.
Condolences may be expressed at beaulieufuneralhome.com.
Beaulieu Funeral Home in Newberry is assisting the family.