Harry Hallwood Jr., (79), of Niles, Michigan, passed away on June 16, 2023. Harry, also known as Ray, was a hell of a guy. He had a sharp, endless wit and charming grin, was an incredibly hard worker with high ethical standards, and was endlessly dependable to all who knew him. Born in Liverpool, England, he was a proud Brit, retaining his British citizenship, rooting for Liverpool FC, enjoying Boddingtons Pub Ale, and drinking endless cups of tea his whole life.
His father was an engineer, brought to America to help design the US Interstate system under the Eisenhower administration in the mid-1950s. It was the time he spent on those job sites that Harry discovered his passion for building and working with his hands. He earned his Eagle Scout as a teenager and later served as a Boy Scout leader for many years in his community and on military bases.
In 1964, Harry’s life changed forever when he met the love of his life, Cheryl Lynn James (Cheri) on a blind date arranged by friends. Shortly thereafter, in 1965, he was drafted into the Army where he would serve for two years. He came home on leave to marry Cheri on February 15, 1966 and they remained deeply in love for a lifetime.
After serving in the military, he established a career designing and welding the infrastructure of many major buildings in the Michiana area and beyond, as a proud member of UA Local 172 Plumbers & Pipefitters. Harry was very artistic and welding was a creative practice for him. He developed signature patterns and designs for his work and was admired as a very skilled tradesman. Outside of welding, he enjoyed expressing his art in watercolor painting and creating iron sculptures.
Harry loved all things outdoors. He was an avid fisherman, sport shooter and gardener. He was a member of the Cass County Conservation Club for many years and the American Mountain Men Association, attending rendezvous and historical reenactments, developing many deep friendships along the way, which earned him nicknames including Limey, Mountain Man, Hawkeye and more. He was a member of Support the Fort in Niles, helping organize their rendezvous for several years, which aimed to bring greater resources to the preservation and education of Fort St. Joseph. He was passionate about history and spent nearly every day reading. Ever the craftsman, he also loved hand carving antique style muzzleloaders and knives and later turned to making jalapeno, dandelion and elderberry wine - to the delight of many.
Harry and Cheri built a loving family of all women, for which he was relentlessly teased; three daughters who in turn, gave them six granddaughters. While he adored them, he still made sure he taught them how to put a worm on a hook, shoot a gun and start a fire. Their beautiful home in the country in which the girls were raised was built entirely by his own hands. It was the ideal location for his passing, for which the family is deeply grateful.
He leaves behind a deep void in the lives of his wife Cheri Hallwood of Niles, daughters April Hallwood, Crystal Hallwood of South Bend, Summer Hallwood Minnick (Brandon) of East Lansing, and granddaughters Ali Paquette, Aubrey and Hannah Curl, and Maisie, Abby and Bronwyn Minnick, and sister Fiona Felice (Tony) of Titusville, FL. He was preceded in death by his parents Harry and Maisie Hallwood.
In lieu of a funeral, a private celebration of life will be held by the family.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Halbritter Wickens Funeral Services 615 E. Main St. Niles, MI 49120.
Online condolences to the family may be made at www.halbritterwickens.com