Prince, Rev. Harry Clayton


Harry Clayton Prince died peacefully with family at his side on December 27,2014 at the Kobacker House, a hospice facility in Columbus, Ohio.

He was born on August 23, 1918 in Kewanee, Illinois to Marcia (Martin) Prince and Leroy Prince. He was the first in his family to graduate from college, at the University of Illinois in Champaign. He met Edna Durrant at a freshman "rushing" party at the Triangle fraternity in Champaign and Immediately decided that he was going to marry her, which he did on June 7, 1941. Edna predeceased him on April 28, 2004, after almost 63 years of marriage.

He is survived by four children: Charles Gregory and his wife Joan; Mary Louise Prince Walsh and husband Peter; Arthur Thomas and wife Bev Infante; and Susan Kay Prince Nelson and husband Larry. He is also survived by 11 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren.

Immediately following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Harry enlisted in the Army, in the 25th Armored Engineering Battalion of the 6th Armor Division, and was the Captain of a bridge building company of 120 men who bridged the Rhine three times. They were close to enemy lines at all times and sometimes the enemy even crossed over their bridges in retreat. He survived the Battle of the Bulge, and was discharged, with the rank of Major, on December 26, 1945. Of all his adventures during the war years the thing that he was most proud of was the number of "boys" that he was able to bring through it safely, including the German boys who either surrendered to his unit or were able to retreat to their homes over bridges that Harry's unit had built.

He was also proud of the work he did in the post-war military government when his responsibilities included caring for the German population.

Harry worked for the American Bridge Division of U.S. Steel for 30 years and was instrumental in the design of many large projects including the Carquinez Strait Bridge in California, the Verrazano Narrows Bridge in New York, the Orinoco Bridge in Venezuela, and the Unisphere in New York City, built for the World's Fair in 1964.

He never played baseball, but was a very successful Little League coach who prepared his team to play and be competitive. When he was getting ready to coach his first team, he spent hours reading and preparing and at least one of the players went on to play professional baseball.

After retiring from U.S. Steel, Harry attended the Methodist Theological School in Ohio and became a minister. He was a full member of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He and Edna served in numerous churches in Western Pennsylvania and in Illinois,
after moving back to Kewanee In 1979. He continued to preach well into his 80's and volunteered for many years as a baseball coach, foster parent, member of the Golden K, at the Kewanee Senior Center, and in other ways.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to your local animal shelter.