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R.I.P. Harry

Written By: Gary on March 12, 2005 9 Comments

Harry Carswell passed away last week… I’ve restarted this a few times and I guess I don’t really know what to put here… I’ll start with a story: About three or four years ago I was visiting Harry in the hospital, I don’t remember exactly what he said the doctors told him, something like “six months to live” and I laughed and then he joined in so I felt a little better about it because I knew he knew why I laughed. We laughed because ten or fifteen years before that after some major heat surgery they had given him three to five years (or some other deadline he was way past). I’m sure a few other times (not even related to those issues) they had given him some other timelines and they all passed but then he’d have some other problems every so often. He knew it was time this time and moved back into his home last month because that’s where he wanted to be.


Harry F. CarswellHarry worked at Michigan State University with Student Services, the Homecomming Committee, Student Life and I’m not sure what else; it seemed like he knew everyone there. It’s funny, I never had any direct connection to him when I went there or (kinda) worked there. I met him through one of my best friends and he eventually married her (and her kids). They got married at the president’s house at the university (I told you he knew everyone) and remember videotaping the wedding. He was only forty-nine and in addition to squeezing a hospital visits into his time he sure managed to squeeze a lot of life into it too.

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9 Responses to “R.I.P. Harry”

  1. Angie Allen says on: 15 March 2005 at 1:34 pm

    Thanks so much for writing something about Harry – I just found out from a colleague about his passing and the funeral yesterday. I was a student leader at MSU from 1991-1995, and knew Harry well. Yep, he did know EVERYBODY, and many of us will miss his prescence.

  2. Gary Said... says on: 20 March 2005 at 2:03 pm

    We Lu Ya Harry

    Harry loved the Harrison Roadhouse so after the funeral (see my earlier post) we went to the Roadhouse to eat and drink (and be merry) and they had changed the sign out in front of the restaurant to read “We Luv Ya Harry”. The funeral was a…

  3. Fran says on: 23 May 2005 at 12:27 pm

    I went to high school with Harry at Holy Redeemer in Detroit. He was loved and respected there as well. I was sorry to hear of his passing. Fran Vitale

  4. Meryl Paskow says on: 22 December 2005 at 2:51 pm

    I had no idea Harry had passed. I just googled him and found this site. Harry was my boss when I was a grad assistant at MSU from 1996-1998. I learned so many important things from him both personally and professionally and I think of him often. I am so saddened by this news.

  5. Donna Bean says on: 29 December 2005 at 11:01 pm

    Gary,

    I haven’t thought of Harry for some time now. But I want to express my warm thoughts of him.

    About 5 days before he passed away, I got a call from a mutual friend who said Harry wanted to talk with me. We “talked” for about an hour and I was very appreciative of this opportunity. I’ve known him since 1981 and was one of his support people when he was first diagnosed with a terminal heart condition brought on by an infection. Its true that he was only given about 2 -5 years to live back then, but he always beated the odds. I remember him saying on more than one occasion that every day was extremely special to him because it was a gift from God.
    It’s been about nine months since he passed away and he has recently been on my mind alot.
    I pray that Melissa, his widow, is holding up well and that the kids (which he was so proud of) are too.

    Harry was very special to me and although I only talked with him about once a year, I miss him terribly.

    The world is a lesser place without him.

  6. Charles Fogel says on: 25 February 2007 at 12:36 am

    I knew Harry back in Detroit. We were just kids, teenagers and young adults then. He was a good friend, someone you could trust to watch your back and who you were honored to be a buddy to. I was looking for him on the Internet when I found this. I’m sorry I never looked him up to say hi and to say remember that time when…

  7. Peggy Colombo says on: 22 November 2007 at 11:55 am

    Harry changed my life. He brought me into a self-defense/centering group when my life was out of control, and gave me ways to cope with the difficulties I was having. I still live by many of the principles Harry taught me and will be forever grateful.
    I am heartbroken that I did not know about his passing.

  8. Dr. Kevin Light says on: 20 April 2008 at 10:12 pm

    Out of the blue, I thought of Harry today. He was my room mate for a time at Michigan State University in 1978. I remember him as a man filled with character – the fact that he was loved by ALL reflects the goodness that he exuded. I will miss him.

  9. Linda Catterson says on: 3 November 2011 at 11:56 am

    I was just thinking about Harry (Ray)as his birthday was on December 7th. Surprised to see that he “returned home.”
    I was also one of his co-workers and martial arts students. Never forget the “bear” move and crawling on our bellies! He had a great laugh and was a friend to all. Wish I would have known about funeral, as I was instructed to wear red if he ever died. Well, the next time I wear red I will drop and roll Sensei Ray.

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