Harry C. Free Sr., of Cortland, NY, previously from Genoa, NY, went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, Jan. 6th, 2021, from COVID-19, where he was welcomed by his wife, Nora Bell Ritchie Free. He passed peacefully with his children at his side. Harry was predeceased by his wife of 46 years, Nora, his son, Fallon Free Sr., and his granddaughter Courtnie S. Griffie Rupe (Ian). He is survived by his sister, Dorothy Free Polaski, his son, Harry C. Free Jr. (Linda), and his three daughters, Claudia M. Free McGarrigle (David), Cheryl A. Free Ink (Paul) and Kimberly A. Free Bull (Lee). He will be missed by all, including his grandchildren, Fallon Free Jr, Kristi Free, Charlie Free, Chad Free, William Griffie, Kenny McGarrigle, Kevin McGarrigle, Mikhaela Free, Harry C. Free III, Lee Ink, Cassidy Bull, Cayman Bull and many great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.
Harry enlisted with the U.S. Navy, serving during the Korean War on the U.S.S. Samuel B. Roberts DD-823 as a Radarman. He circumnavigated the globe several times, crossing the equator twice earning the title of “Shellback”. After the Navy, he entered the workforce, working at Airborne Instruments, Mega Data, TRW and Unity House.
Harry’s hobbies were building and flying model aircraft, reading and watching Westerns, listening to Big Band, jazz and folk music, woodworking, technology, bird watching, and researching family ancestry. Mostly, he was a dedicated family man, enjoying spending time with all those that loved him.
Harry’s wishes were to be cremated and two services with be held at a later date. One will be at Red Hill Cemetery in Hodgenville, KY, where he will be buried with his wife, with full honors and color guard. The other will be a burial at sea from a U.S. Navy vessel.
Online condolences can be left for the family at www.ZirbelFuneralHome.com. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating in his name, to the Veterans of Foreign Wars or the Disabled American Veterans, Cortland Memorial Chapter 153, both in Cortland, NY.