SCS Alumni Newsletter Heading
 Volume VII Issue I Spring - 2004 
Harry DeBloom, My Role Model
By Linda DeBloom Stock, `69

When I was asked to write an article about my dad, my first thought was "but I'm not a writer"! This is still my thought as 1 am writing this, so I hope you'll all bear with me.

Harry DeBloom

A lot of you knew a man I never knew. I didn't meet my dad until October of 1952, and don't remember a lot about him until I was old enough to have memories. Some of you knew my dad back in the 1940s, and early 1950s, when he was still a semi-young man. You are all lucky to have known him then.

The dad I remember ... he was so busy! He was always busy doing something .... teaching, coaching, going to Elks Lodge meetings (often memorizing long rituals for the offices he held), golfing, teaching people to drive in his "spare time", painting during the summers with Joe Palombo, socializing a lot with Mom and their various friends, and the list goes on and on. The Harry DeBloom you remember ... here are some memories people shared with me when I sent out an email asking for input.

Bob Chantler (`44): "I most assuredly do remember your father. He was my high school coach in sports and the athletic director when I was in high school. Also one of the finest people I ever knew. I believe he came to Sidney about 1939 but am not certain of the exact date."

Marie Peck Cumm (`52): "My husband (Richard Cumm) who graduated in 1946 had your father for a football coach. He said he coached everything at that time. I graduated in 1952. Your father taught me how to drive. It was a drivers' ed class, and originally there were 3 students, but the 2 boys decided they didn't want to bother with the class, instead just got their licenses. I, who had never driven, was left alone, so I had your father's undivided attention. We used to go to the Scintilla parking lot to practice. Then down on Grand to do a 3 point turn, on Pleasant St to learn how to parallel park, between 2 cars, not just drive up and back in, but between the cars. This was all done on standard shift and using hand signals, no turn signals like today. Anyhow, I remember him well, and I think he did a good job teaching. In my 50+ years of driving, I have never had an accident and have driven all over the United States."

Bonnie Provenzon Curtis (`59): "Yes, I did have your dad as my driver's ed instructor. And greater patience in a man I have never seen!"

Jean DeBloom Giessman (`62): "When they were married, they rented an apartment on Grand Street. In that apartment they met Tina and Tom Mirabito, who were living in an apartment at the same address (this was early 1940s). They became good friends. They always enjoyed getting together with friends ... the Spinellis, Nan and Milt Nichols, Joe and Nellie Palombo. Father would go up to Al Drake's to play pool with him. I remember Father's association with the Elks. He was a past Exalted Ruler of the Sidney Elks Lodge, and past District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler, BPOE. He taught the men's Sunday School class in the Methodist Church. I remember Father and Mother going to Florida in the winters, and taking the grandchildren to polo matches. He golfed with Uncle Roy and sons-in-law and grandsons. Just a few things that come to mind"

Ann DeBloom Smith (`63): "I remember Father talking about he and Uncle Roy ... they were supposed to be taking Uncle Bud for a ride in the carriage on the sidewalk, when they got horsing around and dumped him out. He also used to tell me about how he and Uncle Roy worked as guards at the State Hospital and the weird people they dealt with. (This was when Father was working his way through college).. I remember when Jean and I went to the Civic Center for school with Father in the morning and one of the "big boys" waited with us in the car and helped me with my math. I also remember the English assignment from Mrs. Spinelli that I decided I wouldn't do. She told Father and he decided to help me. I turned it in and was told to redo it without Father's help."

Francis L. Redmond, retired teacher/coach: "I can't remember any stories, but here are some feelings I have. Harry DeBloom was a teacher with many talents. He taught Physical Education, Coaching, Driver Education, and was a Guidance Counselor. For years Harry supervised the summer recreation program. His main interest was helping young people. I arrived in 1948. This was my first teaching assignment. Harry was my tutor during those first years. He often went out of his way to help me in coaching and teaching. Harry was a gentleman who held the respect of everyone who knew him. His humor and coaching stories were enjoyed by all who knew him. He is fondly remembered as an outstanding educator, loyal friend, and devoted husband and father."

Linda DeBloom Stock (`69) I remember going to school with my dad every day when I was in junior high, as he was also there as a guidance counselor. I could not get away with anything! He would know! I used to work with him at home to memorize his lines for his Elks club ceremonies. He worked his way up the ladder, and with each new position came new lines to memorize! It got so I had them memorized as well as he did! I remember when he was told that he had to go back to college, at age 60, to become "certified" for his job as guidance counselor. He was apprehensive about having to go back to college at that age, and took it very sefously.....and of course he did very well. There wasn't anything he couldn't do.

I remember in 1985, when my mom died. I was just 33, young to lose my mom. I remember going home to spend the weekend with my dad, and us going to church (Methodist), and us sitting there in the back row crying our eyes out together. I remember going home every weekend for either all day Saturday or all day Sunday to spend time with dad so he wouldn't be alone (my sisters and I made sure he had someone with him part of every day). During that time I got to know him better than I had in all the years prior. He shared with me what it was like trying to get an education. He had to drop out of school twice when he was in his teens, to help out on the family farm due to hardship (they lived in the Portlandville, NY area), so he was 21 by the time he finally graduated. Then, he decided to go to college, but had to work his way through, so it took him many years, but he ended up with a Bachelors from Ithaca College and a Masters from Syracuse University. He waited until he had completed his education and established himself in his career of teaching before he found a wife .... my mother. He was in his late 30s when they got married.

Knowing all this about him helped me to fully appreciate what a determined, dedicated man he was.... and ever since then, I've considered him my role model. I've had my own hardships with having progressive hearing loss to deal with since I was 15, and it's helped me to "hang in there" knowing that I have within me the, strength that was so successfully modeled for me by my dad.

In Memory Of Harry P. DeBloom:
August 28, 1904 -July 12, 1988