Harry Ray VanDelinder
May 25, 2016
On, Saturday, May 21, 2016, we all lost someone very special, and beloved, Harry Ray VanDelinder. Harry passed away at the Life Care Center in Reno. He was under treatment to recover from an illness and complications that led to his hospitalization three weeks ago. He was delighted to have been recently asked and was looking forward to being the Grand Marshall of Incline Village's Veteran's celebration and the community parade on July 4th this year. His selection was so greatly deserved. He was one of so many young men who, to save their beloved country, gave everything they could. The love and service of this "greatest generation," who almost all have now slipped away from us, certainly can never be surpassed. Born on October 10, 1922, Harry was lovingly raised with his Brother and Sister on a large Ranch in Ojai, California., while in Ojai elementary school, Harry shared his daily lessons and actually taught his preschool age sister to read. He often said that he had to be a good boy. He could not, ever get in any trouble to cause his Father, Harry Vandelinder Sr., to not be reelected to his job as Ventura County Treasurer. The elder Mr. Vandelinder served his California constituents in that office for 35 years. When World War II started, Harry was attending a Ventura County Jr. College. At breaks, he had a job surveying the coastal mountains for the War Department. After two years in college, he qualified and joined the US Army Air Corps as an Aviation Cadet. After somewhat unexpectedly surviving his deadly allotment of 35 heavy combat missions over Nazi Germany in 1943-1944, 2nd Lieutenant Harry Vandelinder kneeled down, kissed the tarmac under the wing of his war battered B-17 Bomber. Then he left Chelveston Army Air Corps base on a self approved two week leave to enjoy the England he'd only seen from the air. He missed the delivery of a promised promotion. As the war was coming to a close, Harry was discharged from further service. He was very glad, proud of his service in then Colonel Curtis LeMay's 8th Army Air Corps, 305th Bomber Group. It was finally time to go home to Ventura. Harry graduated from USC with an Engineering degree and quickly secured a job with Northrop's aircraft company in nearby Hawthorne. He was talented and good. Offers started to come from other companies in the growing industry. He didn't want a change and ignored the calls. He was offered a job specializing in systems assurance and performance measurement at the Lockheed Aerospace Corporation. That night he came home and surprised his wife Nancy with abrupt news, they were moving from their Hermosa Beach home to a new one near Sunnyvale, California. At Lockheed, he greatly enjoyed his varied assignments on many classified, interesting projects including some on Howard Hughes' massive Glomar Explore, the P3-Orion and the L10-11. Harry and Nancy were ready for a family and loved having their first child, son Jeffrey, then Barry, Bradley and David. Harry, a skilled engineer was the fix it guru in his neighborhood in San Jose, appreciated by neighborhood men and boys needing brake jobs to bike repairs. He was a scouting troop leader with the BSA. Harry quickly grew to love it and his scouts, with long hikes to beautiful, remote camping spots in rugged California mountains and wilds. He would take his boys and their friends backpacking for at least 2 weeks every year. Upon retirement, Harry and Nancy weren't entirely sure of their future. Then, in 1998, David called to tell them of an opportunity to return to the beloved mountains and the most beautiful alpine lake. They purchased a large, nine bedroom home he had discovered in Incline Village, Nevada. It became their new home to lovingly share with children and grandchildren and friends for years to come. They never regretted it. Harry was beloved by many in Incline Village, other parts of the country and the world. He was proceeded in death by his Father, Mother, Sister and Brother. He is survived by is wife of 65 years Nancy VanDelinder, their four sons Jeffrey, Barry, Bradley of Incline Village and David VanDelinder of Reno, 3 daughter in laws Linda, Teresa and Sandy VanDelinder, grandsons Justin, Jordan and Mathew VanDelinder, great grandsons Jared, Jackson and Mac VanDelinder. Arrangements for a memorial service are in process.