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November, 2003

Henry James (Hal) Airey

1923-2003

Henry James (Hal) Airey passed on peacefully, Friday, October 17th, at 3:00 a.m. He lived a charmer existence with a life full of adventure.

He will be deeply missed by his family and friends. He is survived by his wife of thirty-seven years Samruay (Oy) Airey, his daughter Christine, son and daughter in-law Mark and Barbie, son and daughter-in-law Bob and Peggy, and son and daughter-in law Bruce and Jill. One son David and his first wife Lee preceded him in death. He was the proud grandfather of four granddaughters, Jessica, Alexandra, Emma and Mackenzie. Hal is also survived by his sister Marna Griffin.

Born May 9, 1923, he was a third generation native of Stinson Beach. His grandfather and granduncle were early settlers of Stinson opening the first store and hotel in 1906. He got his driver's license when he was eleven years old so he could make deliveries and pick-ups for Airey's Store. He gave students rides to Stinson and Bolinas School on the running boards of a car made by Hertz. His mother, Marjorie rescued many swimmers on her hollowed out redwood surfboard and Hal followed in his mother's footsteps and became an avid surfer.

After graduating from Tamalpais High School, he joined the Navy and became a pilot. He was short down during the Korean War. His rescue from the water was the fastest on record.

He served the Navy as an attachŽ and intelligence officer stationed in Taiwan and Singapore. Upon retirement from the Navy, he flew commercially for China Air Transport and Continental Air Services (Bird Air) in Vietnam and Singapore.

At fifty-five years old, he returned to Stinson Beach to make his home. He loved nature, the ocean, and his family.

A service was held at the Community Church of Stinson Beach on Oct. 29.

In lieu of flowers, a contribution can be made to The Stinson Beach Community Center.

 

 

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