Harold James Myers, 88, of Arbuckle, California, passed away on Sunday, September 22, 2013.
He was born to the late Clifford Edward and Marie Criqui Myers, on August 22, 1925, in Arbuckle. Harold attended local schools and graduated from Pierce High School in 1943. He promptly enlisted in the Army Air Corps and left immediately for boot camp in Oregon. While there, he became a light-heavyweight boxing champion. Having won this boxing title he confidently challenged the reigning heavyweight champion to a match. This action resulted in Harold waking up in the base hospital. Stationed at Webb Air Force Base in Big Spring, Texas, Harold trained as a bombardier. While in Texas Harold met a pretty young nursing student destined to become the love of his life. In 1945, while stationed in Wisconsin, he was honorably discharged from the Air Force. He hitchhiked home to California by way of Texas where he stopped long enough to propose to Melba Joan Moore. They were married on March 18, 1949 and made their life together in Arbuckle.
Harold was a farmer for all of his adult life, raising tomatoes, sugar beets, rice and, at the time of his death, almonds. He spent many years farming with his partner and brother, Clifford Myers. Together, in 1964, they were among the first farmers in Colusa County to use a mechanical tomato harvester.
His contributions to agri-business include:
- Member of the board at Colusa-Glenn Production Credit Association 1970-1989; chairman 1984-1989
- Established Colusa County Farm Supply 1973
- President of the Westside Water District 1975-
- President of the Board of Maxwell Irrigation District
- Helped create Myers-Charter Rice Dryer, Arbuckle 1982
- Chairman of the Board, Western Farm Credit Bank, Sacramento 1989-2003
- Helped create California Family Foods, Arbuckle 1995
Perhaps Harold’s greatest accomplishment in agriculture was his prominent role in bringing water to the west side of Colusa County. He made numerous trips to Washington, D.C. to testify before Congress to obtain funds for the construction of the 140-mile long Tehama-Colusa Canal. Once the funding for the canal was obtained, Harold went to work to improve Westside Water District and its delivery and drainage system.
Harold was a man of many interests. After returning to civilian life he never lost his love of aviation. He kept his pilot’s license current and he continued to fly until 2000. An avid sportsman, Harold enjoyed deer and pheasant hunting and taught each of his six children to dive for abalone. Harold and his son William frequently packed their gear onto llamas and hiked into remote wilderness areas for up to ten days at a time. He was an adept bridge player; he and his wife Joan spent many happy hours with family and friends engaged in the game. Although not naturally inclined to dance, Harold learned how at the urging of his wife. They enjoyed attending dances at the Elks Club in Willows and, more recently, at the Moose Lodge in Yuba City. He never, however, learned to waltz. Harold’s many grandchildren and great-grandchildren will always have fond memories of Grandpa’s famous hotcakes and of his angel food cake.
As an active member of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Arbuckle, Harold was instrumental in organizing the annual Saint Patrick’s Day Catholic Bazaar. Over the course of three years Harold and William made several trips to Nicaragua where they visited a Catholic orphanage. He instructed the nuns in efficient farming practices and assisted in the planning of irrigation systems. The only tractor the nuns possessed was a Russian-made model and it didn’t run. Harold was especially proud that he was able to get the tractor repaired and operating once again.
His elder brother Francis Clifford Myers, younger brother Norman Edward Myers and his elder sister Geraldine Myers Hobbs preceded him in death. Survivors include Joan, Harold’s wife of 64-years, his sons William Myers, Bruce (Katy) Myers, David (Robin) Myers and Sam (Patti) Myers and daughters Mary (Bill) Stone and Priss (Bud) Harman. He also leaves thirteen grandchildren, seventeen great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Arbuckle from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Friday, September 27 with a rosary held at 7:00. Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, September 28 at 10:00 a.m.
The family suggests that contributions may be made to the Arbuckle Fire Department, to Pierce High School, or to a charity of your choice.