Harmon Ellsworth Shoda, 89, Loon Lake, died Monday afternoon, June 27, 2016, at his home surrounded by his family following an extended illness.
He was born Aug. 14, 1926, in Laud, a son of Carl E. and Relta M. (Putman) Shoda. His formative years were spent in Laud. He graduated from Jefferson Center High School.
In August 1944, during World War II he joined the United States Army. He served in the 11th Airborne Paratrooper division. His active duty was the Asian Pacific Theater in the Philippine Islands, Okinawa and Tokyo, Japan. On Aug. 30, 1945, his division parachuted into Tokyo Bay and were the first occupational forces in Japan. He also was one of the few chosen to be Honor Guard on the battleship Missouri when Admiral Nimitz and the Japanese General signed the surrender of Japan. He was honorably discharged Nov. 17, 1946.
Harm worked for Pennsylvania Railroad for a short time, General Electric for a year and International Harvester in the paint department for a year. He then became a plumber’s apprentice under Hoot Gibson and helped plumb the basement of the old Whitley County Hospital. In 1950, he began working for M.C. Wheeler and Sons until retiring in 1998 with 48 years of service. He then did maintenance work for River Bluff Apartments until age 82.
On August 4, Harm and his bride, Carol L. Peterson, would have been married 60 years. They have always made their home in the Columbia City area, moving to their home at Loon Lake they built in 1963.
He was a member of Due Guard Lodge #278 Free and Accepted Masons and Wolf Lake V.F.W. Post #4717. In 1979, he received a certificate as an Emergency Medical Technician taught by Dr. Jerome H. Wait.
Harm has two surviving children: Lisa (Robert) Jahn; and Brady (Laura) Shoda, all of Columbia City; 12 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and a sister: Phyllis A. Pippin, Columbia City. He was preceded in death by a son: Brett; and a brother: Gene.
His grandchildren called him grandpa. They fished with him and spent over nights at the lake in sleeping bags so they could get up at 4 a.m. to go fishing. They spent many vacations on fishing trips to Wisconsin with their grandpa, grandma and their parents. He enjoyed challenging them to push-up competitions and to be strong and physically fit. They learned life lessons by observing and spending time with their grandpa as he worked in his big garden, watched and fed birds, and loved his big black Lab: Chase. Now they too love physical fitness, to fish, have gardens, feed birds and, of course, have dogs. They loved their grandpa very much.
A memorial service will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday, July 7, at Smith and Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City, with a Masonic service and military honors included. The family will receive friends from 3-5 p.m. Thursday, July 7, at the funeral home.
Preferred memorials are to Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation or to The Michael Stern Parkinson’s Research Foundation.