Still serving, WW II vet Harry Wurth dies

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BY RICHARD TEDESCO

World War II veteran Harry Wurth, a longtime Albertson resident, died in his sleep on June 14 shortly after being re-elected quartermaster of his Veterans of Foreign Wars post. He was 87.

“He was a quartermaster. He took care of our finances. He did a fabulous job,” Albertson VFW Commander Gaetano Rumore said.

Rumore said Wurth was attending the state VFW convention with other members of the Albertson VFW Post outside Syracuse on the day he died. 

Wurth had just been re-elected quartermaster before he laid down to take a nap and died, he said.

Wurth joined the U.S. Navy after he graduated high school in 1945. He served as a member of the deck crew and a baker on the aircraft carrier USS Belleau in the Pacific Theatre near the end of World War II. 

He was honorably discharged from the Navy when the war ended.

In 1964, Wurth joined Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3211 in Hicksville. He became the post’s quartermaster in 1965 and its commander in 1969. During this time, he started visiting veterans at the Veterans Administration hospitals in Northport and St. Albans. He was subsequently elected chaplain of the Nassau County VFW Council in 1972.

In the ensuing years, he held positions as junior vice commander in 1973, senior vice commander in 1974 and in 1975, Nassau County Commander and All-State County Commander. In 1978, he was elected chaplin and commander of VFW District I.

In 1981, Wurth transferred to Albertson VFW Post 5253. In 1992, he was appointed VFW State Inspector, ensuring that all VFW Posts across the state conducted inspections of their posts. In 1993, he was appointed New York State Chief of Staff and helped to create 19 news posts statewide.

He was named VFW State Commander in 1997 and had also served as quartermaster of the Albertson VFW Post since then.

He managed leasing the post to outside organizations and Rumore said he used to joke that Wurth slept there.

“He would be there to make sure things were put together,” Rumore said. “The VFW kept him busy.”

He is survived by his son, Garry, and two daughters, Cheryl Mueller and Carrie Zipser. He is also survived by nine grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife, Marion.

A wake was held at the Arthur F. White Funeral Home in Farmingdale last Wednesday and Thursday. A funeral service was held in his memory at the Farmingdale United Methodist Church last Friday morning. Interment followed at Calverton National Cemetery. 

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