Harold Larkin

Obituary of Harold F. Larkin

Hal was born January 30, 1928 and died April 24, 2021. He had recently celebrated his 93rd birthday. He was born and raised in Poughkeepsie, New York and lived there until he left for Union College in Schenectady, NY. Hal was predeceased by his parents, his former wife, a sister and two children. He graduated from Union in 1949 with an undergraduate degree in Math and a Master’s in Education. He was married after graduation. His first job after graduation was as head of the Math and Science Department at Springfield Central High School in East Springfield, NY, a position he held for a year and a half. After spending time teaching, he applied for and received a position in GE’s Advanced Engineering Program in Schenectady. After completing the Advanced Engineering Program, he accepted a position with the Knolls Atomic Power Lab in Niskayuna, NY, where he worked for his entire career. He held several positions at KAPL, where, in 1957, he received a Management Award for the Conceptual Design of a Reactor that became the first nuclear core for a U.S. submarine. Hal then spent almost twelve years in Idaho as Manager of KAPL Test Operation, Idaho, at the National Reactor Testing Station. While there he qualified as a Nuclear Plant Operator and served as Manager, Navy Training. Upon concluding his assignment in Idaho, he returned to the Niskayuna Lab where he completed the remainder of his 39 years with GE. After retirement, Hal participated in a Presidential Commission to study and recommend how our country should best utilize nuclear power during the 21st century. Hal’s first son was born shortly after the family moved to Schenectady. Three more children, a boy and two girls, were born during the next six years. His children moved to Idaho with Hal and, in 1960, he married his second wife, Carol Wagner. A son and daughter were born to them in Idaho. While in Idaho, Hal started a Boy Scout Troop and led the troop on ten 50-mile hikes in the Western Mountains. When he returned to NY, he became active in Troop 48 in Clifton Park, where he served as Troop Committee Chairman and led many scouts on hikes and camping trips. Hal was active at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Clifton Park where he served as Social Ministry Chair for almost 30 years. During that time, he worked with the Sunday School to sponsor three children through the Christian Children’s Fund. He also led his Social Ministry Team in selecting a missionary for the church to support. The missionary went on to found a program that focuses on sustainable community-based public health initiatives. Almost 40 years later, the church continues to support the program, EPES, Popular Education for the People, which has spread from its origin in Chile to other countries around the globe. Hal also was a strong supporter of the ELCA World Hunger Program and conducted many activities at Prince of Peace to raise awareness and funds to combat World Hunger, including yearly fasting weekends for the Senior High Youth Group. Hal was an avid runner. After retirement he recommitted himself to running and competed yearly in the Empire State Games, the National Senior Games, and other National Track and Field Competitions. He also competed in the Senior Olympics. His specialties were the 400 and 800 meter races. He won many medals and was NY State champion for several consecutive years. Hal and Carol and their two children enjoyed many years of scouting and of family hiking in the Western Mountains, taking many trips West after moving to NY. They enjoyed living in Clifton Park for over 45 years. He is survived by his wife, Carol, a brother, Jack, of Greenwich, CT., a sister, Joyce (John) of Lexington, MA, sons Eric (Lois), of Warwick, NY, and Bryan, of Charles Town, WV, and two daughters, Barbara (Calum), of Coos Bay, OR, and Kathy, of Harrisburg, PA. Hal is also survived by seven grandchildren, Gaylyn, Josh, Ivan, Will, Kelsey, Alina and Ian, and eleven great-grandchildren, Julian, Simone, Noah, Cecilia, Ely, Ethan, Neil, DJ, Willie, Ty, and Theo. A Celebration of Hal’s Life will be held at a later date. Gifts in Hal’s memory may be made to Action for Health in the Americas, https://actionforhealth.org/, the U.S. arm of EPES.
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