Gerald Harr

   Jerry was born on June 2, 1921 in Quakertown, Pennsylvania. There he attended school in a one-room schoolhouse, which held all eight grades. He started high school but enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1940 and got his High School equivalency diploma while serving his country. He served in the Pacific; saw combat in Guadalcanal, contracted malaria, and was sent to Auckland, New Zealand for hospitalization for both malaria and shrapnel wounds. He started collecting shells while in New Zealand, and after being transferred to another hospital in New Caledonia, he began collecting quartz crystals. He was sent back to the United States for further hospitalization. After being discharged from the hospital in 1944, he married Lois Plummer, whom he had met at a roller-skating rink in 1938 before the war.

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   He continued serving in the Corps as an instructor at the motor transport school at the rank of First Sergeant. He also served in Korea after 1953. During a Rifle & Pistol match he received a gold and several silver and bronze medals for sharpshooting. He was asked to join the Marine's Rifle & Pistol Team to compete in interservice competitions. He was also an instructor for the team. In 1960 after twenty years and eleven days in the military, Jerry retired from the service.

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   Living in San Diego County, he began selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door and then selling funeral plots door-to-door. Then in 1962 he went to work for the Camp Pendleton Fire Department. Jerry started lapidary in 1963 by taking faceting lessons. He also owned several mining claims in the county, where he mined tourmaline and aquamarine.  

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   Jerry and Lois traveled all over the western United States from Texas all the way to Canada. During their travels, they collected tons of rocks and minerals for his new avocation. In 1982 after twenty years and eleven days, Jerry retired from the Fire Department and began to spend his time creating masterpieces of jewelry in silver and gemstones. In 1995 Gerald Harr was inducted into the National Rockhound & Lapidary Hall of Fame in Murdo, South Dakota.


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