Goodykoontz, Harold

Harold Goodykoontz was born on August 4, 1908 in Grant County, Indiana to Von and Myrtle Goodykoontz. He had an older sister, Olive, and a younger brother, Kent. The family also had a ward named Mildred who also went by Goodykoontz.

In 1926 the Goodykoontz family moved to Arizona because Harold had developed respiratory problems. At the time, moving somewhere dry like the Arizona desert was the commonly accepted asthma "cure."

At the time of the move, Harold was still a schoolboy and he kept a journal of the family's trip across the country. He recorded their stops and visits as well as all car maintenance, including prices.

After he graduated, Harold worked a variety of jobs for income over the years including as a surveyor and as a stockboy at Brown Chevrolet. Yet it was his work as the superintendent of the local Methodist sunday school and as a Boy Scout troop leader for the Chandler-Gilbert disctrict that defined who he was.

In his role as Boy Scout troop leader, Harold would sometimes take a group of scouts north to Camp Geronimo along with the Mesa scouts and a couple other troop leaders. Everyone had to bring their own horse, pack, and bed roll on the trip but there was a dining hall for food and camp activities just like at overnight scout camps today.

In 1942, the Goodykoontz family was concerned that Harold would be sent off to serve in WWII. But when the time came he failed to pass his medical exam. Pre-existing conditions, including his asthma, had left him in good enough health for everyday life or scouting but far too weak of health for military service.

Then Harold left on a trip to Camp Geronimo with the Boy Scouts. There was a fire and a fire extinguisher exploded, sending Harold to the hospital with sulfuric acid burns. It took months of recuperation and surgery before he recovered. His engagement to Mildred's friend Lucile Pearson would experience some strain due to the stress and moodiness brought on by Harold's injuries. Once Harold even had to go out of state to see a specialist for treatment. It is uncertain exactly how extensive the damage was, but he remained in good enough health that he continued to work, had children, and lived to age 54.