Lawrence William Hiles of Montesano passed away on May 22, 2013, at the age of 88. He was born on March 4, 1925, to William and Emily (Westhall) Hiles. He attended Elma High School and was drafted into the Army during his sophomore year. He served in Germany and France during WWII where he was awarded the Purple Heart, Good Conduct, American Theater Service, European African Middle Eastern Service and Victory medals.
He married Eleanor VanDeWall on June 28, 1943. They were married for 69 years until her death in December of 2012. Together they raised five children who survive them; Herbert (Nancy) Hiles, Craig (Georgette) Hiles, Douglas (Lisa) Hiles all of Elma, Corinne (Al) Neeley of Frankton, Indiana and Linda (Lowell) Williams of Cathlamet, Wash. Lawrence had 12 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
He became a heavy equipment diesel mechanic after earning his degree at Bates Vocational School in Tacoma. He became well known on Grays Harbor for his mechanical skills and was nicknamed the “White Ox”. He was employed by several logging companies, including Mayr Brothers of Hoquiam where he worked for many years. He worked for Peterman Construction Company and Quigg Brothers Construction of Aberdeen, from which he retired. He was co-owner of a fabrication shop and continued to work part-time for many years after retirement.
He enjoyed camping with the Blue Pacific Good Sam Club. He loved playing his harmonicas, gardening and spending time with family.
A memorial service will take place at a later date, at which time his ashes and those of his wife, Eleanor will be laid to rest together.