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Harry J. Garon
Harry J. Garon, 94
Prominent real estate
and resort owner
JERUSALEM, Israel - Harry Garon, resident of Ogunquit, passed away in Jerusalem, Israel on April 27, 2006 at the age of 94. Mr. Garon and his wife Shirley were visiting with family in Israel at the time of his death.
He was born in Riga, Latvia on July 6, 1911, one of four children, and he came to Portland in 1924 at the age of 13.
Over the years, Mr. Garon was deeply involved in many business ventures in Maine. Among them were Central Furniture and The Graymore Hotel, to which he brought various night club acts and which served as the central focus of entertainment in Portland and environs for years. He also owned and operated the Majestic Regency Motel in Ogunquit, where he continued to be active up to the time of his death. He claimed to be the oldest active motel owner/manager in the New England region.
Throughout his long career, Mr. Garon owned many residential properties and office buildings in Portland. He had a long and successful career in many other real estate and business ventures as well.
As a young man supporting a growing family of three children during World War II, he worked at the South Portland shipyards on liberty ships.
Mr. Garon was very active in the Jewish community. He was one of the original members and founders of Temple Beth El in Portland. Over the years, he contributed sizeable amounts to Israeli and Jewish charities. He was an active Zionist for many years and was instrumental in the organization and shipment of arms and ammunition to the Hagganah in support of Israel's battle for independence prior to its recognition as a state in 1948.
He believed strongly in maintaining a healthy physique and exercised vigorously for most of his life. In addition to his extraordinary mental prowess, he was proud of his physical abilities and even challenged his children and grandchildren to arm wrestling contests (at age 94) until the time of his death.
He was a deeply dedicated and strongly devoted family man and was an active catalyst in keeping all his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren in constant contact with one another.
He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Shirley Frank Garon; and three children, Diana G. Weiner of Silver Spring, Md., Meir Garon of Jerusalem, Israel, and Gerald Garon of Canton, Mass. Mr. Garon also leaves 11 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on May 8, 2006