Cover photo for Harry Peter Yorgensen Jr.'s Obituary
Harry Peter Yorgensen Jr. Profile Photo
1929 Harry 2023

Harry Peter Yorgensen Jr.

October 1, 1929 — February 25, 2023

Harry Peter Yorgensen Jr passed away peacefully at the age of 93, on Saturday, February 25,2023.

Harry was born on October 1, 1929, in Hartford, CT, to Harry Sr. and Ellen (Killard) Yorgensen, just months after the collapse of the long-running economic expansion known as the Roaring Twenties and the onset of the Great Depression. Owing to the hard times of this era, Harry shared the family’s modest two-bedroom, King Street apartment with his parents, his sisters Agnes and Doris, his cousin Michael, and his Aunt Magdalena. The extended family managed by converting their living room to a bedroom for the two sisters and doubling up everywhere else, such that the only common areas remaining were the kitchen and the dining room. While these tight quarters would seem to test the limits of togetherness and generosity, Harry Sr. and Ellen would often feed hungry strangers in the family’s kitchen, even though Harry Sr., along with many of his contemporaries, had been cut back to part-time work due to the ongoing depression.

Harry attended Washington Street Elementary School and Bulkeley High School. As a teenager, he had a part-time job at a local delicatessen where the owner instructed him to add a few coins onto the scale for sliced meat to account for waste. He felt that was unethical and soon left the job. Just one day after high school graduation, Harry went to work for the Royal Typewriter Company, joining his father, grandfather and several other relatives. He began as an assembler and eventually earned an apprenticeship as a tool and die maker. Harry often recounted how grateful he was for the kindness of the senior tool and die makers, and for the knowledge they passed down to him. His apprenticeship included courses at The Hartford Trade School, wherein he excelled in mathematics and gained confidence in his ability to someday reach beyond tool and die making, leading him to enroll in Hillyer College to study mechanical engineering at night while still plying his trade during the day. Meanwhile, events developing halfway around the world would soon involve military intervention, placing on hold the educational and career aspirations of nearly 1.8 million American servicemen and women, including Harry, who enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1950.
Harry was ultimately stationed in Kangnung, South Korea, close enough to the DMZ to see and hear northbound U.N. missiles flying overhead at night. His role in the war effort was primarily technical drafting and providing security for U.N. Aircraft at the base. Though he did not see action personally, he was proud to have contributed to the fight for Democracy after the North had slipped into communist rule under the proxy of the U.S.S.R. Harry received an honorable discharge as the war came to a close in 1953.
Upon his return from the Korean theater, Harry resumed his work and apprenticeship at the Royal, as well as his studies at Hillyer, soon thereafter earning his journeyman license as a tool and die maker and his associate’s degree in mechanical engineering, magna cum laude. On June 9, 1956, Harry married Janice Eileen Murray, also of Hartford, CT. They moved to Manchester, CT, where they started their family of six children, Kevin, Kathleen, Jeffery, Robert, Mark and Michael.
Eleven years after beginning his collegiate studies, while working 45 hours per week, raising his young children and attending classes at night, Harry triumphantly earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, cum laude, from Hillyer College, which by then had become part of the University of Hartford. Harry joined the J.M. Ney Company in Bloomfield, CT, as a newly-minted mechanical engineer. He would rise through the ranks at Ney over his 28 years there to attain the role of engineering manager. He greatly enjoyed his work and especially being able to provide employment opportunities to some of his respected colleagues from the Royal, including his former tool and die instructor. His work in precious metals and electrical contacts at Ney allowed him to be on the cutting edge of a variety of emerging technologies, including early versions of electronic watches, media players, digital games, computers and a host of other interesting applications.
Following his retirement from J.M. Ney, Harry pursued his lifelong calling to teach by accepting a position as an instructor at the Howell Cheney Technical School in Manchester, CT, where he taught drafting, mathematics and blueprint reading for five years. In 1995, Harry and Janice moved to the Highland Lakes Community in Leesburg, FL, where they enjoyed the company of many dear friends, the beautiful climate and various available activities. After Janice sadly passed away in 1998, Harry eventually married his fellow parishioner, Jane Maurer, who had recently lost her husband of many years. Harry and Jane enjoyed eleven wonderful years together, traveling the world and enjoying friends and their large, combined family until Jane’s passing in 2015. With a heavy heart, Harry moved, without Jane by his side as they had planned, to Waterman Village in Mount Dora, FL, where he eventually settled in and made new friends, while continuing to nurture cherished connections to his old friends at Highland Lakes, and his extended family scattered across the United States.
Harry was a lifelong sports enthusiast, having enjoyed fishing, boating, horseback riding, water skiing, golf and pickle ball at various stages of his life. He loved woodworking, making beautiful pieces of furniture and intricate artwork, which still graces the homes of his beloved friends and relatives. He was an avid reader, loved chess, cribbage, pinochle and bridge, and was frequently found with a puzzle or two in progress. He had amazing conviction in his faith, country, family and friends. He volunteered with his church and its schools. He continuously strove to improve himself and assist those around him. He was a great friend, father, grandfather, uncle, husband, student and teacher. In his post-retirement years, Harry studied various financial strategies and applied them as a successful stock trader to manage and grow his nest egg, which, as testament to his endless abilities, powered him through nearly 30 years of retirement. A child of the Great Depression, Harry knew hardship at a young age. He led by example, passing on the “make-do” attitude and generosity he learned from his parents, as much as his love and affection, his steady hand, his adherence to the rule of law, to order and military precision, and the value of hard work and perseverance. He drew a stark contrast between want and need, and right and wrong, and always took the high road. Always. He taught us never to be wasteful, to cherish humanity, to be kind, diligent and generous, to pursue our dreams with passion and commitment, never to expect anything without hard work, and to trust in God.
Harry was predeceased by his father, Harry Sr. and his mother, Ellen, his two sisters, Agnes Arey and Doris Burke, his son Jefferey, his wife and mother of his children, Janice, his daughter Kathleen, and his second wife, Jane. He is survived by his sons Kevin (Siobhan), Robert (Linda), Dr. Mark (Erica), and Michael, as well as his eleven grandchildren: Ericca (John), Jennifer, Levi, Alexander, Wade, Mackinly, Estelle, Liam, Samuel, Sarah, and Raven. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at the Garden of Life Fellowship Hall (Chapel) at Waterman Village in Mount Dora, FL 32757 on April 3, 2023 at 11AM ET.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be sent In Memory of Harry Yorgensen to the Waterman Village Employee Appreciation Fund, Attention Janine Lester, at 250 Brookfield Ave, Mount Dora, Florida 32757.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Harry Peter Yorgensen Jr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Monday, April 3, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Garden of Life Chapel at Waterman Village

251 Waterman Avenue, Mount Dora, FL 32757

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