2015-03-05 / Obituaries

Harold O. Tackett

Harold O. Tackett left us peacefully at his home in Coarsegold, surrounded by his loving family, on Feb. 23, 2015 at the age of 81.

Harold was a quiet, humble man of many accomplishments that he would never mention. Instead he always chose to focus on helping those around him to feel good about what they had accomplished.

Those that were fortunate enough to spend time with Harold can attest to just how loving, kind, generous and endlessly supportive he was to everyone, whether family, friend, coworker or student.

Harold worked in education for more than 50 years and dedicated both his life and career to helping children become strong, resourceful and independent. He began his career as an educator while in the Air Force in the 1950s and then transitioned to public education, teaching at several schools in Madera County. In the 1960s he was a counselor at Woodrow Wilson Junior High in Hanford, where he met the person he loved most of all, his beautiful wife and best friend of 46 years, Roberta. In the 1970s he counseled at Scotts Valley Junior High. In the 1980s he moved to the Oakhurst area in the Sierra Nevada mountains that he’d loved since first coming to California. He worked there until retiring as director of special services and special education for Mariposa County School District. In retirement, he continued to serve the children he loved so much as a counselor for the Boys and Girls Club of Oakhurst.

Harold was proud to be an Okie living in California, and he loved to make the trip back to Oklahoma (always with the requisite stop in Las Vegas for a pull on the slots and a game of Keno) to spend time with his beloved parents Herman and Edith, sisters Geneva and Sue, brother Howard and his many nieces and nephews.

Harold had a wonderful, dry wit and self-deprecating sense of humor. He loved fried okra, classic cars, Western and World War II movies, Route 66 and Fresno State sports. He was a man wonderfully full of seeming contradictions; the consummately calm, immaculately dressed, dignified patriarch and administrator, who at the same time loved playing pranks on family and friends. He leaves us, still chuckling, at the endless delight he took during car shows in activating a remote control fart machine he’d hide under a giant stuffed gorilla placed in the driver’s seat of his prized, unrestored 1960 Impala convertible.

Harold was always there to aid anyone struggling or in need, especially children, and seemed to always know just what to say in the slow, calming, warm voice we will always remember and already miss so much. He comforted us in stressful moments with many down-home “Harold-isms” that immediately put things in perspective. He could simply say something like “In 20 years, none of this will matter,” and, somehow, said in that voice with him there, the problem really didn’t seem to matter all that much, and the world was suddenly a much less frightening place.

What will matter for a very long time is the part of him that will stay with each life he has touched, the people he helped each of us become, and how much his quiet, loving counsel will be missed.

Harold is survived by Roberta, the wife he adored; his children, Kathy, Jeff, Patrick and Tamara; his sister, Sue, and his brother, Howard; and many nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A visitation will be held at Sierra Chapel in Oakhurst on Friday, March 6 from 4 to 8 p.m. Burial will be at Oak Hill Cemetery on Saturday, March 7 at 10 a.m., followed by a celebration of life at the United Methodist Church at 11 a.m.

Remembrances can be made to the Boys and Girls Club of Oakhurst, P.O. Box 2757, Oakhurst, CA 93644.

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