My most sincere condolences to hear of Henry's passing.
I knew him through our mutual interest in Photography, and when I worked at Calumet Photographic in Chicago.
We enjoyed sharing our passion for images, and had great fun criticising each other's work and efforts.
A real classy guy that endured a lot especially in the last few years.
The best compliment I am able to share with the family is that "I am a better person for having known Henry, and had the privilidge of calling him a friend."
Although our contacts wained over the last few years he was always in my thoughts and prayers.
Each of our times here are limited but I am so thankful for having known Henry.
I will miss him for the rest of my life.
Trevor Reisz 847-309-2343
Imagine a first year English teacher having a genius with a near-photographic memory in her World Lit class. That was how I met Harry who became a lifelong friend to my husband and me. We bonded over stories by Chekhov, Oscar Wilde, Shakespeare, and more, as well as interests in Russian Studies, progressive music, art, photography, and travel. Although we moved to Virginia, then Texas, we enjoyed our visits when we'd return to Cedar Rapids, with many phone calls over the years in between. Our conversations during the past year became especially poignant, and Harry's courage and honesty were truly inspiring. When I'd send him photos of our various reunions, he could pinpoint dates, events, sites seen, even what I cooked for dinner; all of it made our memories even greater. He even remembered some of the comments I wrote on his essays, truly special to someone who went on to teach for 4 decades, but never had a more brilliant student. Now, Harry's suffering is over, and we hope to meet again in the next world, which we also discussed in great detail, Harry being a seeker until the end. We miss him so much already, and we will always cherish his books, pix, humor, love of cats, voice, smile, and infinite intelligence.
Ever since Harry and I first meet years ago, I always had this wonderful impression of Harry as the finest embodiment of human intellect, compassion, clear headiness, forthright communication, and humility. Harry is a rare soul.
How Harry maintained all those qualities even with the knowledge and suffering of his own human endpoint leads me to add the quality of Strength.
Harry has left all of us with some amazing gifts. Publishing 3 books in the last 6 months about his life which he held as true and valuable will live on in all our hearts and minds. I will treasure them to learn more how he viewed life, hear his witty constructs, and this will make me laugh, or cry for the joy of knowing Harry.
Harry was a star on our 2 PM Sunday Show calls we have held religiously for the last 2 years when the pandemic hit. His accurate memory of recalling past events with friends over the years became wonderful stories, full of humor, where we would all laugh each week for an hour. Harry we will miss you dearly.
Dear Sam and Emily, we will miss being with you in person today and we are so sorry for your loss of your beloved brother, you will be in our thoughts.
Love, Nancy Knauer and Tom McDougall
A chance encounter, lead to a published journal article, which lead to two and half decades of meet ups for 'good coffee,' 'good food,' sharing of memories, Harry "living vicariously" through my travels, sharing of photos of random candid moments, Lewis Black, appreciation of 'stuff others don't care about.' Over the past couple of years, it was encounters in hospitals, or home as we realized we could no longer have our meet ups, and I often recalled the book Tuesdays with Morrie.. but the best meet up... one last Giordano's delivered direct to your house, oh the smile that brought and how hard it was to drive 130mi with that pie fresh from the oven.
We go back to our dark days in medical school. How do I honor you? Impossible! Except to say you were there always to listen and support. You had an incredible way to dissect, rotate, and uncover the fundamental truths and different perspectives. As an example, you discovered and shared your favorite life/social commentator Matt Groening’s “Life In Hell” (way before “The Simpsons”!) as a balm on everyday difficulties. It didn’t always solve the problem, but it SURE felt good.
I’m glad you are no longer suffering Harry, and I will dearly miss your dark humor and repartee. You found true meaning in life by connecting in everyday relationships- a rare man indeed.
Jim Collison and wife Annaluna Karkar
I wish I had the good fortune to have known Harry for a long time but I was lucky enough to get to know him through our Friday morning support group this spring. I am grateful that his pain and suffering has ended. I hope he knows how many peoples lives he touched in such a short time. Harry I will get to have those conversations with you now and I’ll be doing most of the talking. From a grateful heart, Cheryl Garrigan
Although I will not be able to attend the memorial service I would like to express my condolences to Harry’s family and to say what an honor it was to practice medicine alongside him at Mercy hospital and Weland Laboratories in Cedar Rapids.
I appreciated his help with difficult problems and always had the greatest respect for his diagnostic abilities. May he Rest In Peace.
J. Martin Johnson MD (Marty)
Harry you are a Saint in my book,
Marion HS class of 1977. I never would have received a HS diploma with out some help from Harry, he let me scheduled several classes together and we sat side by side, I'm the only person he let me look over and see many test answers.
I also enjoyed Harry and his brothers Sam and Walt wit and intelligence when at our house visiting my brother listening to music and playing D&D.
I was also born in their grandfather hospital in Knoxville,Ia.
Missing you Harry..
Dear, Dear Harry, We miss you! Thank you for your life your example and your friendship. Your intellect, wisdom humor are not wasted on us, and we are ever richer for having you in our lives. May God be with you until we meet again, der Harry. With love, David Oscarson
Harry started as a client with me at the gym in 2013, but as we worked together our relationship became closer by the time he was diagnosed, we had already left the gym and began our "sessions" outside in nature, walking around the fishery, newbo and downtown Cedar Rapids, even when I asked him if he thought it was too cold he insisted that we walked outside he enjoyed it very much, We talked about everything from politics, history, comedy, religion, nutrition, health, medicine, nature, animals, life, death, and the Simpsons!
Over the past 10 years, we have shared recipes, books, cat memes, photography, music, and theories on life in general. There is so much that I will miss about speaking with him but he has been preparing me for this for a long time.
Harry introduced me to many of his friends and on our most recent walks and enjoyed hearing about the history with each one of those friends, how they met and what led them to where they are, he loved his friends and siblings very much.
Harry was a great writer and helped me greatly with a few projects that I had, I was always amazed at how he could take a bland piece of writing and turn it into something that would jump off the page, I wish he could proofread this as I write!
Harry knew at the end of the day it was relationships and friendships that mattered the most and I will always remember our walks together, every time we walked an eagle would fly over us as we walked by the river and he promised me one day he would give me a sign.
Until our next Walk my friend
I’ve come to realize that I can live without Harry. Because he prepared me for it.
I told him I could not imagine living in this world without him. But here we all go: Into the great abyss.
He gently wouldn’t let me go down the rabbit hole.
Harry helped me raise my sons, Rio and Zoey when their dad, a colleague, was at the hospital a lot.
But more than our kids will ever know, he was there to support and move me through motherhood, my career as a journalist, nannies, a Halloween castle for Christmas that we made together, and trips to the pumpkin fields, the farmer’s markets, the museums, the zoos, the meals, the celebrations, the homework, and the marathon phone calls: so much laughter and sharing of our lives, families, friends.
We had a relationship of common values, art, politics, literature, and how to raise children. I told him everything.
He helped me through my divorce. There was a mountain of trust between us.
I was very supportive of his decision to move back to Iowa to be with his family. It turned out to be one of his best decisions, ever. He had a wonderful life in Iowa with his brother and sister and the amazing friends that he met and cherished.
A friend to many, he was terrific at nurturing his friendships.
My life was so enriched by him, and I will carry him in my heart forever, as will my boys.
“H” was an extraordinary man. A wonderful friend and mentor for the past 26 years, Harry always championed my interests outside of medicine and offered profound life advice when asked. We kept in regular contact through texts, phone calls, letters and cards, and I will dearly miss his brilliance and quiet compassion. My deepest condolences to Emily and Sam, and to anyone who had the privilege of knowing Harry.
A signature still from his famous Halloween dance video!
I met Harry through a cancer group that my husband belonged to and they all met via Zoom, Harry was an intelligent man and spoke eloquently. For our group he would explain medicine in terms we could all understand. I enjoyed his sense of humor and how he would keep us all thinking positive about the joys of life. I shall miss his smile. He has joined my husband somewhere in the outer universe likely keeping things lively. Rest in peace my friend.
A few memories: First, as has been said, Harry was a tremendously faithful correspondent. His holiday cards and photos adorn my walls. Second, he was one of those rare people who fully appreciated both high culture (opera, champagne, beautifully-prepared meals) as well as the lowest of junk tv. Third, it was from him that I learned that when one plays cribbage, the drama is most important: when you lose, you scream, yell, and rend your clothing, and when you win, you gloat and congratulate yourself for being the best and most amazing person in the universe. With that kind of drama, everyone wins! And finally, he never held back his feelings and opinions, and he was so incredibly generous with his love. I will miss him a lot.
Dear Harry’s Family,
Please accept my heartfelt sympathy on Harry’s passing. I knew Harry while studying Russian at Oberlin. I remember Harry’s tender, observant presence. He was kind. Harry’s smile is unforgettable.
Yours in Celebration of Harry’s Life,
Susan Parsons, Arcata CA
Harry has been the most wonderful friend to me ever since we were students together at Oberlin, such a long time ago. A faithful, witty, wry correspondent, and unfailingly generous in his support through all the tribulations of life, despite the distance. May he rest in peace now. Greetings from Auckland, New Zealand to all his family and friends.
Harry was genuinely kind, a true friend and a mentor. I looked forward to our visits, and Harry had a vast knowledge of world customs, art, poetry, music, and of course medicine. I am honored I was able to know Harry for the past 24 years. Thoughts and prayers for Emily and Sam.
Deer were frequent visitors to Harry's backyard. The following words are his:
Vision in Delirium
I will know the day has come when I wake up and for no reason my hands and feet don't hurt anymore, my stomach doesn't groan, and I can walk without a cane; I'll go out the screen porch and see seven deer standing and waiting for me. I'll go to them, they'll flank me, and they'll walk me through a path in the woods on to Glory. What waits beyond, I don't know, but I know I'll be with my guides when I get there.
Peace to you dear Harry and thank you for all of the wisdom, words and kindness you shared. My condolences to Sam, Emily, Team Harry and his many friends.
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Iowa City, Iowa
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