Harry G. Erway, Jr. of Penn Yan passed away peacefully at home on November 19, 2019.
A viewing will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22 at Townsend Wood Funeral Chapel, 201 East Elm St., Penn Yan. A Christian Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Nov. 23 in Penn Yan at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, 312 Liberty St. Penn Yan. A reception in the church hall follows the mass. A Memorial Service will be held at 11 a.m. Nov. 25 at St. Margaret Mary’s Church, 1110 Pennsylvania Ave., Apalachin, and burial will be at Calvary Cemetery in Johnson City, followed by a reception to be announced.
He was born November 23, 1925 in Elmira, the son of Harry and Dorotha Erway. In 1943, Harry graduated from Southside High School in Elmira, and answered the call of duty during WWII, serving briefly in the Army Air Corps (now known as the U.S. Air Force). He was training to pilot airplanes when the war ended.
Harry maintained a love of flying throughout his life and was deeply patriotic. Harry married Alice Louise Lowery in 1946, in what was a spectacular triple wedding they shared with two of Alice’s sisters.
It was the talk of the town in 1946. They started a family in Elmira, and moved to Apalachin, where they raised seven children. While working at New York Telephone Company in Elmira and Binghamton as the district manager, in 42 years he never used a single sick day! When Harry retired in 1988, he continued to consult as a contractor for another 16 years. He had a terrific work ethic which he instilled in his children and is part of his legacy to them.
Harry and his family spent many family vacations at Keuka Lake, where they enjoyed wonderful gatherings of aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends, making fond memories they all treasure.
Active in his community, Harry served as treasurer of the Apalachin Kiwanis Club, Vestal Soccer League coach, President of the Tioga Terrace Civic Association and councilman for the Town of Owego. Harry was instrumental in the fund-raising efforts for building the new St. Margaret Mary’s Church in Apalachin. He then went on to serve on the first parish council for the church. Harry was a devoted Roman Catholic, after converting in 1945 to marry Alice.
Everything in his life was connected to his faith: how he attended mass regularly, was a member of the weekly rosary group, and served as a counter for St. Michael’s Parish in Penn Yan and at St. Margaret Mary’s for over 40 years. One remarkable characteristic that showed his devotion to prayer was the prayer list he created when he was a younger man. He prayed every day for those who were sick and who had passed, memorizing the list, so that once you were on it you were never taken off. He had more than 100 names.
Those left to cherish his memories include six children: Harry G. Erway, III (Eileen) of Penn Yan, Kathleen A. Beinert (Laurence) of Williston Vt., Gail M. Haight (Mike Hainsworth) of Penn Yan, Patricia Gabello Proutey (Richard Gabello) of Wilmington N.C., Thomas J. Erway of Binghamton, and David W. Erway (Susan) of Knoxville, Tenn. He also leaves 10 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
Harry was predeceased by his wife, Alice; a son Michael; a son, Timothy; and his grandson, Joshua.
Arrangements are being handled by Townsend Wood Funeral Chapel, 201 East Elm St., Penn Yan. Donations can be made at Covenant House New York, 550 10th Ave, New York, N.Y 10018 or Boys Town, P.O. Box 8000, Boys Town, NE 68010, two of Harry’s favorite charities. Fond memories of Harry may be shared with his family and friends at www.townsendwoodfuneralchapel.com