Harold Cosgrove Jr.

Posted: Thursday, June 17, 2004

Longtime Juneau resident Harold L. "Harry" Cosgrove Jr., 76, died June 9, 2004, of an apparent heart attack at his home.

He was born in 1928 in Albany, N.Y., and lived in Albany, Mexico and Washington D.C., before coming to Juneau in the mid-1960s. A Korean War veteran, he lived in Mexico for seven years beginning in the 1950s, traveling and working throughout Mexico and Central America. He worked in Mexico as a traveling salesman and in sales for a large furniture chain. He corresponded with the friends he met there for some 50 years.

When he was working for the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C., in the early 1960s, he pioneered the idea behind the still-active "Title V" program. He worked to have it included with other legislation establishing Americorp and the Peace Corps. Title V provides stipends to workers over the age of 55, as they learn new job skills working in nonprofit agencies. It is now called the MAST program and is administered in Juneau by the Southeast Regional Resource Center.

In Juneau, he was in charge of CETA, a federally funded job-training program within the Alaska Department of Community and Regional Affairs. He also worked with the Alaska Department of Labor, the Alaska Marine Highway and Centennial Hall. He was active in many nonprofit and service organizations, including the Juneau World Affairs Council, the Glory Hole, the Juneau Senior Center, KTOO and the Juneau Artists' Guild.

He was an avid reader. His interests included foreign films, the arts, current events and hiking.

Known all over Juneau as "Harry," his friends said he left an indelible legacy to the community. They said he was passionately interested in Juneau's history and people and never hesitated to share his knowledge. Fluent in numerous Spanish dialects, he was a committed friend to the Hispanic community, helping them in any way he could to adjust to life in Alaska. In his jobs and extracurricular activities, which also included helping people with their income taxes, his central goal was service to the community, his friends said. His friends said that he is survived in Juneau by the many friends and acquaintances touched forever by his caring nature and special intellectual skills.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 19, at the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, at Fifth and Gold streets. A "Celebration of Harry's Volunteerism" will follow at 2:30 p.m. at the Glory Hole.

Donations in his memory may be made to the Cathedral of the Nativity or to any one of his special nonprofit agencies mentioned above. A search for relatives is underway.



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