Harold E. McCabe, 95, from nearby Milton died peacefully at home in front of his family at sunrise Saturday, September 26, 2020. Born May 29, 1925, in Georgetown, he is the son of the late C. Russell and Agnes Donaway McCabe.
He attended Georgetown High School, and was one of the last members of Coach George Keen’s Golden Knight soccer squad which went unbeaten for nearly four consecutive seasons. On May 28, 1943, he enlisted with the US Coast Guard. Following basic training in New York, where he was taught martial arts by boxing champion Jack Dempsey and saw Sinatra at Paramount, he was sent to Camp Lejeune, NC, where he joined members of the US Marine amphibious force preparing for action in the Pacific. After arriving at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in December 1943, he was assigned to the Coast Guard Manned Transport Ship USS Leonard Wood. He was an active participant in the invasion of the Marshall Islands, Eniwetok, Kwajalein, Saipan, Palau and the Philippines. During this time he was a member of the LCVP crew landing troops on hotly contested beaches, sometimes under intense fire. During the Gulf of Leyte and Lingayen invasions of the Philippines, he was assigned to the anti-aircraft battery which was responsible for protecting his ship from kamikaze suicide plane attacks that later threatened the American fleet. After the war ended, he participated in the transfer of troops to Occupied Japan, and the return of countless combat veterans, something he remembered as an exhilarating experience for all. Seaman First Class McCabe was dismissed in March 1946.
Upon returning home, he immediately began a 35-year career with Delaware (now Delmarva) Power and Light. During the early years of his job, he participated in the rural electrification finish of Sussex County, a source of joy for a farming family who sometimes offered homemade pies and the occasional chicken as a token of appreciation.
On July 15, 1950, he married his lifelong lover, Louise E. Hurley of Milton, in the sanctuary of the Goshen Methodist Church. The couple settled in Georgetown, where they lived for 37 years before building a retirement home near Milton. He is a member of Franklin Lodge No. 12, Ancient Free & Accepted Mason, Post 6984, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Delaware Society of the Sons of American Revolution, and Georgetown Volunteer Fire Company. Additionally, he and Louise are members of the Grace United Methodist Church and are among the founders of the Georgetown Historical Society and the Sussex Pines Country Club. He is one of a long line of oral historians whose stories bring light to the past, and firmly believes in the importance of self-respect and treating others as one would want to be treated. He never knew a stranger and maintained his sense of humor to the end – a lesson for all of us.
Harold was preceded by his wife Louise, who died January 12, 2020. He is survived by his son and next-door neighbors C. Russell McCabe (Michele) and Joseph E. McCabe (Tammy), and daughter Melissa McCabe Shoultes (Gordon) of Seaford. He is also survived by five grandchildren, Kristin Whitley (AJ), Josiah McCabe (Chrissy), Noah McCabe (Brittney), Coulter McCabe and Jenna Shoultes, and two great-grandchildren, Elijah and Briah McCabe; goddaughter Ellen Pusey Bennett; Theodore J. McCabe’s brother from New Jersey; and many nephews. The family would like to thank the many caregivers who made her last days a little easier.
There will be a service by the cemetery at Union Cemetery in Georgetown at 3 p.m., Thursday, October 1. Family friends were invited to join them in celebrating Harold and Louise’s life at Mulligan’s Pointe near Georgetown from 4pm to 6pm.
All present must wear masks and adhere to social distancing and meeting protocols.