Harold Monroe Cantrell

1923 - 2013

Harold Monroe Cantrell of Swan Lake, Mont., passed away on Jan. 2, 2013. Harold will be forever loved and remembered for the wonderful stories he told, the way he lived his life and the joy he found in every day.
Harold was born Aug. 28, 1923, in Dillon, Mont., to Everett and Ida La Rue Cantrell. The family owned and operated Cantrell Dairy in Dillon, Mont. During his early years, Harold and his older brother, La Rue, delivered milk to area customers by horse-drawn wagon and later by panel truck.

Harold graduated Beaverhead High School in 1942 and continued his education at Montana State College in Bozeman (MSU) and the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. He graduated from MSU with a degree in electrical engineering in 1948.
In 1943 he enlisted in the United States Navy and was commissioned as a lieutenant in 1945 and honorably separated from active duty in 1946, yet continued to serve in the Reserves until 1956.
Harold served in many capacities during his 32-year career with the Bonneville Power Administration. He began as an electrical engineer in Spokane from 1948-1950, was the BPA district manager and electrical engineer in Kalispell from 1950-1958 and then was promoted to area manager of BPA in Walla Walla in 1961, a position he held until his retirement in 1980. In his early retirement years Harold was a consultant for Burns & McDonnell and the Port of Walla Walla.

He was married in June of 1948 in Dillon, Mont., to Patricia Ann Babcock, daughter of Howard and Gladys Babcock of Dillon, Mont. Harold and Patricia raised three children, Cynthia, Vickie and Mark. In 1951 Harold and Patricia built their summer cabin in Montana on Swan Lake and spent every summer on the lake throughout his working years. In 1992 Harold, Patricia and their son Mark designed and built their home on Swan Lake incorporating their original A frame cabin so they could enjoy their retirement waking up every day to the beauty and grandeur of Swan Lake.

Harold is survived by his wife of 64 years, Patricia Babcock Cantrell of Swan Lake; daughter, Cynthia Beechinor and husband Tom of Walla Walla; daughter, Vickie Cantrell of Swan Lake; son, Mark and wife Janie Cantrell of Swan Lake; six grandchildren, Christy Druffel, Jason Beechinor, Matthew Beechinor, Austin, Carson and Ryan Cantrell; and five great-grandchildren, Tanner and Skylar Druffel and Kayla, Noah and Hadley Beechinor.

A celebration of Harold’s life will be held this summer.

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