WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY


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Aerial funster Jack Haggerty dies, age 96

Pilot Jack Haggerty has passed away.  Flew under the Yaquina Bay Bridge just for the fun of it.

Pilot Jack Haggerty has passed away. Flew under the Yaquina Bay Bridge just for the fun of it.

Yaquina Bay Bridge

Yaquina Bay Bridge

We’re told that local pilot Jack Haggerty has passed away. Some months back Haggerty crashed his private plane on approach to the Toledo Airport, bounced a bit, went off the runway, through the grass, hit his hanger and upended his plane behind it.

Haggerty, always a funster and exuberant about life said he was happy to be flying, something he always loved to do. With his passing the Newport area loses a fascinating free spirit.

Anyone who knew Jack and would like to say a few things on his behald can do so by emailing your comments to: Dave@NewsLincolnCounty.com

We’re getting in some information on the iconic Mr. Haggerty who led a very full life. Haggerty was, for a while, a heavy equipment operator when the Alaskan Highway was being built decades and decades ago. He was preparing the road bed overwhich was laid the asphalt for the driving surface.

There was also a lucky visit Haggerty paid to his 90 year old “girlfriend” Isabelle Booth back in the summer of 2010. It seems that Ms. Booth was dumping leaves over the side of the cliff below her home south of Waldport. She told her rescuers that for some reason when she dumped the leaves, she went over the side with them, wheelbarrow and all. She said she was stuck down there in the brush and couldn’t right herself to climb back up. Fortunately Haggerty came by, saw what had happened and called 9-1-1. Ms. Booth was soon back up on top, happy that her boyfriend Jack was prompt on their regular “wine date” they had every afternoon.

Jack Haggerty’s Great Grandson C.H. Mydland has some remembrances to share:

Jack was a nickname, he was born with the name John. So far as I or anyone in my family can tell, he took that name (Jack) after an Irish folksong, best performed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BvFtSKv6qY. The song is not a literal story of his life, being written a few decades before his birth, but he found it compelling because of how certain lyrics did seem to relate to experiences in his life and took the name ‘Jack’ after it. A daughter of his was Nancy Haggerty. She married Raymond Mydland and gave birth to Dan Mydland, who is my father. That makes me Jack Haggerty’s great grandson.

My father, Dan, was the only person entrusted by Jack Haggerty for his end of life care, due to various infirmities and personal faults (emphasis on the personal faults) on the part of Jack’s other ‘offspring’ ( several very long life-stories could be told about that ) . I only got the chance to meet the ‘real’ Jack (before old age took a serious toll) when I was about five years old ( so about 1998) when he took me for a flight in his Cessna (which I believe is the same plane he flew to the end of his life). My father, however, frequently recieved visits from Jack in the year preceding his death, driving to the retirement home where he stayed and bringing him to his (Dan’s) house to visit with himself, my mother and me. He had suffered a stroke roughly a year and a half before his death, three years after the locally-famous under-the-bridge-flight at Yaquina Bay Bridge (I may be mistaken, I don’t recall the exact dates).

Beyond that, I can only offer that Jack was buried at Fernhill Funeral Home in Aberdeen, WA next to his wife Margaret. A nearby tombstone of a close relative, perhaps his father, brother or uncle (I don’t know for certain) had the phrase “Now I know” engraved on it( the phrase being an answer to the question “What happens after you die?”) . Jack was a devout Catholic, and the priest at his funeral was generous of spirit, kind and worthy of his position.

I respect my great-grandfather and I wish that both I and many others had a chance to get to know him better. He was more interesting than most people I’ve met (if only by virtue of a long life) so although I had little time to get to know him, I miss him greatly and regret that I did not have the opportunity to speak with him more frequently.

I write this because I feel guilt that I did not spend more time with him ( with what rare chances I had to) and because I respect the man ( so far as I understand him).

Thanks,
C.H. Mydland

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