Cleo Knapp Hathaway

Cleo Hathaway

My grandfather Cleo Knapp Hathaway was born to Raymond Hathaway and Gertrude Knapp on 2 June 1925 in Buckley, Washington. The Hathaways moved from Buckley to Wallingford and later to Fremont and then Ballard.

Cleo attended Ballard High School. He dropped out to work, but was later persuaded to return by the principal of the school. He graduated in 1942.

Unlike many others of his day, he did not enlist in the military for World War II. Instead, he joined the merchant marine and served on ships supporting the war effort in the Philippine Islands. He used the money he’d saved during the war to bankroll Ray’s Frame Shop, a furniture framing shop run by the family. Business was not steady enough to provide for all of them, so in 1952 Cleo joined the Seattle Fire Department. Cleo rose through the ranks and retired in 1977 as a Deputy Fire Chief.

In 1948, Cleo married Vera Lou Hallin, who he’d met at a dance in Vasa Park held by the Swedish Club. Their first house was on 65th and Dibble in Ballard, but they moved a few years later to Olympic Manor in Crown Hill. In the 1970s, they moved to Sunset West on Shilshole. They had two daughters.

Cleo suffered from congestive heart failure beginning in the 1970s. He had pacemakers implanted over the years, which allowed him to enjoy an extended life. In the late 2000s, he had to limit his activities due to the condition. He died on 3 March 2010 at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle while undergoing an operation to improve the performance of his pacemaker.

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