WESTFIELD - Harry A. Monroe, 66, of Bird Street, Westfield, died unexpectedly, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at Buffalo General Hospital of Buffalo, N.Y.
Harry was born April 26, 1947, in Westfield, N.Y., the son of the late Simon and Myrtle (Simpson) Monroe.
He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He worked for 16 years as a groundman/ truckdriver and welder for the IBEW Local Union 1249. At age of 36, he suffered from a work-related accident, and was never medically cleared to return to his job. He returned to school and graduated in 1993 from Jamestown Community College with an associate of science degree. He researched therapeutic horseback riding and focused his energy in starting a program in Westfield. Along with his wife and many friends, he founded Centaur Stride Therapeutic Riding Center in 1991.
Harry was a very kind man. Not only did he use his personal funds to build the center to house the not-for-profit riding center, he also volunteered for many years as the director of facility and mainte-nance. He experienced tremendous joy watching the children with disabilities laugh and smile as they rode the horses, made awesome improvements across all domains, and he felt a great sense of accomplish-ment for "weathering many obstacles" that came with such a great task.
He started his own trucking business in 1998. He sold his tractor-trailer in 2002, and in 2003, he went to work for the NYSDOT as a highway maintenance worker, retiring in 2010.
Harry loved the outdoors, especially hunting and field dog training with his Chesapeake Bay Retrievers.
He is survived by his wife, Claudia A. (Gonser) Monroe, whom he married April 26, 1974, in Hamburg, N.Y.; his daughter, Karlyn E. Monroe of White Plains, N.Y.; and his son, Simon F. Monroe IV of Westfield, N.Y. Harry is further survived by his sister-in-law, Dolores (Gruppa) Monroe of Florida, as well as many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Simon "Ike" F. Monroe Jr.
Friends may call at the MASON Funeral Home on Tuesday, May 28, 2013, from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. and are invited to attend a graveside service at noon on Wednesday, May 29, 2013, at Union Cemetery, Route 20 East, Westfield, N.Y., with the Rev. Thayne Bodenmiller officiating.
It will take many volunteers to fill Harry's shoes at Centaur Stride. His wishes are for memorials to benefit Centaur Stride Inc., to help ensure the continuation of programs and assist with a sus-tainability plan. Donations are tax deductible. Memorials may be made to Centaur Stride, P.O. Box 174, Westfield, NY 14787.
To send the Monroe fam-ily a message of sympathy, log on to masonfuneral. com.