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 Harry Randall Truman

Harry Randall Truman

Birth
Death 18 May 1980 (aged 83)
Burial Body lost or destroyed
Memorial ID 2863 · View Source
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Disaster Victim. Born in Ivydale, Clay County, West Virginia, he enlisted in the 100th Aero Squadron 7th Squad of United States Army as a private in August, 1917. He survived the torpedoing of the "SS Tuscania" on February 5, 1918, off the coast of Ireland. He was honorably discharged in June, 1919. In or around 1926, Harry became caretaker of the Mount St. Helens Lodge, located at the foot of Mount St. Helens beside Spirit Lake. He became a minor celebrity during the two months of volcanic activity preceding the eruption, giving interviews to reporters and expressing his opinion that the danger from the volcano was exaggerated, saying, "I don't have any idea whether it will blow, But I don't believe it to the point that I'm going to pack up." Harry discarded all of his concerns about the volcano and his situation, at one point stating, "If the mountain goes, I'm going with it." Harry was the subject of many songs and poems by children. Harry was married three times, to Helen Irene Hughes, Marjorie Bennett, and Edna O. Henrickson. It is not clear when he married or separated from Hughes, but he married Bennett in 1935 and Henrickson in 1947. Harry was alone at his lodge when he and his 16 cats that he referred to as his family were presumed to have died along with 56 other people elsewhere in the disaster area in the eruption on May 18. A pyroclastic flow engulfed the Spirit Lake area, destroying the lake and burying the site of his lodge under 150 feet (46 m) of volcanic landslide debris. At the time of his death he had operated the lodge for 52 years. The 1980 event was the deadliest and most destructive volcanic eruption in the history of the continental United States of America. A total of 57 people are known to have died, and more were left homeless when the ash falls and pyroclastic flows destroyed or buried 200 houses. In addition to Harry, notable photojournalist Reid Blackburn and volcanologist David Alexander Johnston were killed. Harry was the subject of the book Truman of St. Helens: The Man and His Mountain written by his niece Shirley Rose and was portrayed by Art Carney in the 1981 docu-drama film St. Helens. Harry was 83 years old at the time of his death.

Bio by: Shock


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 4 May 1998
  • Find A Grave Memorial 2863
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Harry Randall Truman (30 Oct 1896–18 May 1980), Find A Grave Memorial no. 2863, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Body lost or destroyed.