American Veteran 04

Harlow Hal Blum

July 14, 1930 ~ July 12, 2020 (age 89)


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Harlow passed away on the evening of July 12, 2020, just 2 days short of his 90th birthday, due to COVID-19 at Kaiser Hospital in Modesto, CA.  He had been a resident of Salida, CA since 1995.

Harlow was born to parents Clara Sandhoff & Edward Blum on July 14th, 1930 in Minneapolis, MN.  He spent his formative years in a small house with an outdoor outhouse, walked miles to school in the snow and delivered ice on his bicycle.  He learned to play the accordion as a young boy.  He graduated from Washburn High School in 1948.

Harlow enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the age of 18, mainly in the discipline of aviation electronics.  He traveled the world on various aircraft carriers, most notably the Midway.  He was part of the Pacific Fleet that supported U.S. Naval aircraft operations for the Korean War, and had permanent detachments in Qube, Korea and Vietnam for 6 months. When not aboard ship, he was stationed at the following Naval bases: Memphis TN, Putuxent River MD, Norman OK, Pearl Harbor-Hawaii, Guam, Alameda, Moffett Field and Lemoore.  Harlow achieved the rank of Chief Petty Officer in September 1961 and served in that capacity until retiring from the Navy in 1968 after 20 proud years of service.  After retiring from the Navy, Harlow began his next career with Varian Associates as an electronic technician.  He worked there in Palo Alto, CA for the next 27+ years.

Harlow married Audrey C. Fagre (also from MN), and had 3 children.  He bought his first house in Fremont in 1962, a perfect place to raise his family while still in the Navy.  Harlow was baptized in a Lutheran Church as a child, and faithfully attended church throughout his life. He later joined the Shriners (Scottish Rite Temple, Oakland, CA) and then Gemini Lodge #825 as a Freemason.  Harlow was a faithful fan of all Minnesota sports teams, the Vikings and Twins particularly.  He later began to follow the San Francisco Giants and the 49ers, due to the influence of his children. 

In 1995 he bought his retirement home in Salida, where he lived with his middle son Robert, and was close in proximity to his daughter’s home in Manteca.  This location was ideal for him to watch his grandson’s grow up and to be able to attend little league baseball games of his grandson Bailey. When moving to Salida, he became a member of Calvary Community Church in Manteca where he faithfully attended and was part of the church family.  Most of all, Harlow loved family get togethers to celebrate birthdays, holidays or just to BBQ in general.  Harlow also enjoyed the challenge of finding bargains in everything he ever bought, especially gasoline.  Harlow was known to travel many miles just to save $.02 per gallon.  He read the sale advertisements daily and would always know where to find the best deals on almost anything and everything.  He was such a caring and loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

Harlow was preceded in death by both parents (Clara Westphall, Edward Blum) and wife Audrey.  He is survived by his 3 children, 3 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren: Harlow Jr. (62, San Jose), Robert (55, Salida), Laurie (52, Manteca) & husband Rick Mittman, their children: Austin & Bailey, and Ricky Mittman & wife Stephanie, and their children: Erick & Emma.

Due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, final arrangements are still in progress and funeral date/time has yet to be established.

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