Harry Viruet, 102, Of Old Fort, NC, passed away Monday, February 13, 2023, at home with his daughters, Anna and Melisa by his side.
Harry was born May 29, 1920 in Brooklyn, NY to the late Fernando Viruet of Utaudo, Puerto Rico and Carmen Bonet-Diaz, also of Utaudo, Puerto Rico. He is preceded in death by his wife, Maria "Mary" Viruet; daughter Dorothy Woitowicz; brothers Luis F. Viruet, Armando Viruet and Luis "Coochie" Diaz; sisters Anna Maria Viruet and Iris Echevarria; stepchildren Ramon "Mony" Frommer and Yvonne Frommer; one granddaughter, one grandson, and one great-grandson.
Harry was a true American hero who bravely fought for our country in the United States Army from 1941-1945. As a Private First Class (PFC) Cannoneer with the 755th Field Artillery Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, he fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and stormed Utah Beach on June 6, 1944 (D-Day), as part of the Allied Invasion of Normandy. During his time in the US Army, Harry earned several medals, including the American Campaign Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the American Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal (EAME Ribbon), the WWII Victory Medal (p.), the Foreign Service Clasp (p.), and the Presidential Unit Citation for the 755th Field Artillery Battalion (p.). He later worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. He was Discharged with a designation of SMG-Stryker Master Gunner 1st CL Gunner.
As a civilian, Harry was a professional painter and carpenter. He was a member of the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses of New Jersey as well as a member of Blue Ridge Biker Church in Weaverville, NC along with his daughter, Anna Maria Viruet-North.
Harry was a traveling man; frequently visiting his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren in multiple states and making several trips to Puerto Rico where he lived for a time. He enjoyed his many trips over the years to Coney Island and Atlantic City and several times visited the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, NC.
Harry was a sports and outdoors fan; playing Dominos, watching baseball (especially the Yankees), football, and a good boxing match. He followed the motorcycles on many of their church adventures and he loved camping and crabbing.
As much as Harry was a man of action and adventure, he treasured the simple, quiet times as well; sipping coffee outside his daughter Anna's home, listening to the creek and reminiscing, recalling tales of the war and his childhood.
"Surviving Harry are his children, Linda Zell of Haslett, MI; Rita (Gerald) Rademacher of Okemos, MI, William (Alejandrina) Viruet of Columbus, GA; Zona "Christina" Viruet of Lansing, MI; Anna Maria Viruet-North of Old Fort, NC; Melisa Cook of Asheville, NC; stepson, Gunner (Erna) Hamundarson of Reykjavik, Iceland; and Stepdaughter Christina Frommer of Killeen, TX; 23 grandchildren; 40 great-grandchildren; and 5 great-great grandchildren; plus many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held Friday, June 2nd 2023, at 2:00 PM at Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery 962 Old US Hwy 70 Black Mountain, NC 28711 with Pastor Tim Fultz & Pastor William Bowen officiating. Military Rites Ceremony will be performed by the American Legion Steve Youngdeer Post 143. After the Service, Family and friends will gather at Blue Ridge Biker Church 621 Old Mars Hill Hwy Weaverville, NC 28787 Sharing Memories and Enjoying Good Food.
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