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Mr. Harold Vanderwall, 1925-2011
Father of our classmate Dan, ’66.



Mr. Harold Arthur Vanderwall, 88, of Fullerton, California, went to be with his Lord on Friday morning, February 14, 2014. He was born November 11, 1925 in Muskegon, Michigan to the late Edward and Bertha (Hanekamp) Vanderwall and was also preceded in death by his brother Donald Vanderwall and sister, Stella Wagner. 


Harold (Hal) graduated from Muskegon High School in 1942 and entered the U.S. Army in 1943, serving during World War II in the famed 10th Mountain Division as a PFC, where he was wounded in Italy by enemy fire. Military awards included Expert Infantry Badge, Combat Infantry Badge, three Battle Ribbons with 2 clusters, Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal and WWII Victory Medal. 


Returning to Muskegon in 1945, Hal met his sweetheart, Wilma Shafer, and they were married on July 9, 1947. He attended Michigan State University (Class of 1952) and received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering; while there, he joined the ROTC and upon graduation, was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. During the Korean War, he served as an electronics officer with the 36th Fighter Bomber Squadron. 


In 1954 the family moved to Pensacola, Florida where Hal was employed at the Pensacola Naval Air Station. In 1962, Hal moved his family to Fullerton, California and worked for NASA on such historic projects as the Apollo program and the Space Shuttle. He retired in 1980 after 25 years with various federal government agencies that included Pensacola Naval Air Station, Army Ballistic Missile Agency and NASA. 


Harold enjoyed traveling; working on home projects; snow and water skiing; and time with his family. He also loved to spend time at a local coffee shop having “coffee” with pals and reminiscing about the “old days.” 


Hal was a longtime attendee of the Fullerton Evangelical Free Church, along with his family. 


Harold is survived by his wife of 66 years; son Dan Vanderwall, ‘66 (wife, Sue) of Brea, CA; son Paul of Fullerton, CA; daughter Jill Duke (husband, Tim) of Placentia, CA; brothers Elmer Vanderwall of Dayton, TN; and James Vanderwall (wife, Donna) of La Quinta, CA; and two grandchildren, Lacey and Jordan Duke. 


Share your memories of Harold on his on-line guest register at www.vanderwallfh.com. Harold was laid to rest in the Veterans Field of Honor at the Memory Garden Memorial Park in Brea, California. 


The family was served by Vanderwall Funeral Home in Dayton, TN. (423) 775-2662 


To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Harold Vanderwall please visit our Sympathy Store.




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