Harold Herbert Heath, 91, passed away on Thursday, May 8, 2014, at The Big Valley Ranch, his home in Winthrop. Harold was born on Dec. 3, 1922, to Charles and Gladys Heath in Sioux Falls, S.D., the second of three children. He graduated from Central High School in Sioux City, Iowa, in 1941.
During WWII, Harold served with the U.S. Army 463rd Air Service Group in England and France as a machinist repairing damaged airplanes. He began his career as an entrepreneur in Seattle in 1949 at age 27 when he started his first company, Heath Manufacturing, which made parts for Boeing. He incorporated various companies, ultimately combining them into 14 divisions under the corporate identity, Heath Tecna.
After Heath Tecna, Harold moved his family to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1976 to work for a friend who had another start-up company, CorTec. In 1981 Harold retired and returned with his family to the Methow Valley to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a rancher and raising cattle. He loved working on the ranch and spending time with his family and friends.
While living in Seattle Harold was involved with Pioneer Human Services, Seattle Opera, Young Presidents Organization, Seattle University, and Swedish Hospital, among others. In the Methow Valley, he was deeply committed to the Methow Valley Education Foundation, where he was an early board member and president for many years, and actively involved in Winthrop Kiwanis, Aero Methow, the Okanogan County Board of Adjustment, and a small prayer breakfast group, as well as continuing his affiliation with the World President Organization. Through his business and community involvement, Harold touched the lives of many people.
Harold is survived by his wife of 48 years, Tina Heath; sons Carlton Heath, Jeffrey (Karen) Heath, Bretton (Shirley) Heath and Stuart (Britt) Heath; daughters Judy Ann Heath, Wendi (Brian) Hardy, and Holly Heath; grandchildren Tamara (Michael) Underbrink, Ryan Heath, Mathew (Tiffany) Heath, Ben (Rebecca) Heath, Johanna (Michael) Rupp, Morgan Heath, Stephen (Carley) Heath, Tana (Cody) Barrus, Tamryn Heath, Morgan Elizabeth Heath, Peter (Susan) Craig, Tamara (Chris) Meckel, Aaron (Julie) Craig, Lance (Michelle) Craig, Xander Hardy, and Hunter Heath; 21 great-grandchildren; sister Frances Schmilski; and numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives, and friends.
Harold was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Robert Heath (Kitty); and a son, Brad Heath, who is survived by his wife, Kathy Heath.
Tina Heath and the whole family want to express their gratitude and heartfelt thanks to all of the friends who have given their love, support and care. You have all been wonderful.
There will be a private memorial service to celebrate Harold’s life at a later time.
Those wishing to remember Harold could donate to the Methow Valley Education Foundation, Winthrop Kiwanis, or Aero Methow or to other organizations committed to helping others in his beloved Methow Valley or follow Harold’s lead and “practice random acts of kindness.”