Harold Irving Moskowite, a lifelong Napa Valley rancher and civic leader, including 4 term County Supervisor passed away on Saturday March 3, 2018 at 91 years old. He was blessed to have spent his final days at home surrounded by the love of family and friends.
Harold was born on August 26, 1926 to Dorothy and George Moskowite in San Francisco. Within a few days he returned with his mother to the family ranch in Wooden Valley. There Harold grew up working side by side with his father raising cattle, sheep and alfalfa at the family ranches spanning 10,000 acres across Wooden, Capell and Berryessa valleys. He learned the values of hard work and resourcefulness which he modeled his entire life.
He rode his horse to grammar schools at Gordon Valley and Crystal Elementary. At 14 he was driving his Model T Ford down the mountain to Armijo High School in Fairfield where he graduated in 1944.
Harold enlisted in the United States Navy, serving during WWII and completed his service at Treasure Island Naval Shipyard. He used his GI Bill benefits to earn his pilot’s license in 1947. This was the beginning of his life long love of flying. Harold owned many planes over the years. He enjoyed taking his Cessna 210 on trips throughout the western states and to Mexico. He loved flying family and friends from the ranch on a valley tour with a pit stop for lunch at Jonesy’s restaurant at Napa Airport.
In addition to being a rancher, Harold was also an entrepreneur running multiple businesses over the years as the opportunities presented. He started Moskowite Construction Company in the 1950’s; as a heavy equipment operator and licensed electrician he worked on the construction of the Monticello Dam and Lake Berryessa. As the lake opened, Harold started a small bar and gas station at Moskowite Corners that later expanded to become The Moskowite Lodge. It was a destination for boaters and locals. Harold and his father were founding partners in Steele Park Resort. He started Moskowite Ambulance Service to provide needed emergency service to rural eastern Napa. Harold built and developed multiple commercial properties including Moskowite Corners Mobile Home Park, and Moss Creek Winery. One of the founding members of the Bank of Napa he served many years on the board of directors.
First and foremost Harold identified with being a rancher. As the Napa Valley changed, his ranch also evolved from raising sheep and cattle to grape growing. He loved his ranching roots and hosting pit beef barbeques for hundreds at his family lake. He relished sharing tales of the old days when he would drive cattle from the family ranches into Napa and up Highway 29 to the livestock auction in Yountville.
Harold spent his entire life being of service to his community. He served his first 3 terms as Napa County Supervisor from 1977-1988, representing eastern Napa County. He returned to serve a 4th term from 2005-2008 representing Southern Napa and American Canyon. Known for no nonsense straight talk and “telling it like it is”, Harold always was willing to mentor others and help his constituents.
Harold was a long time member and past Chief of the Napa County Volunteer Fire Department; Captain in the Sheriff’s Aero Squadron; Director of the Napa Town and Country Fair. A member and Past President of the Napa and Gordon Valley Farm Bureaus. A founding member and Past President of North Napa Rotary, he later transferred to the Sunrise Napa club, serving as a Rotarian for over 40 years and earning the “Napa County Rotarian of the Year” award. Lifetime member of Native Sons of the Golden West. Harold also was active in the Napa Elks Lodge, enjoying his weekly Thursday lunch group.
In 1994 Harold married the love of his life, Bea Turnbeaugh. They spent many happy years at their ranch home in Capell Valley, later moving to Napa Valley Yacht Club. As a couple they were active in Republican party circles and enjoyed working as a team on Harold’s successful 2004 Napa Supervisor Campaign. They enjoyed outings on Lake Berryessa in their pontoon boat and later cruising the Napa River and SF Bay with Harold as captain of their “Beadazzled” yacht and Duffy boats. They enjoyed traveling together, taking many cruises throughout the world. Harold’s favorites were two extended trips to Italy.
Harold leaves a legacy of a lifetime of service to his community. As our beloved family patriarch he will be dearly missed.
Harold is survived by his wife Bea Moskowite; sister Jean Howell (Sid); his nine children Lorraine Raper (Bob), Beverly Bernard (Rob), George Moskowite (Ann), Nancy Brown (Robert), Dawn McDermott (Mike), Don Moskowite (Mary Ellen), Dave Turnbeaugh (Mary), Ray Turnbeaugh, Lisa Johns (Bill); his twenty grandchildren Susie Goodwin, Jennifer Raper, Chris Bernard, Nate Bernard, Beka Terry, Sam Bernard, Harry Bernard, Madison Moskowite, Cheri Keene, Dawn Jordan, Chris McDermott, Kurt McDermott, Patricia Moskowite, Jeff Moskowite, Scott Moskowite, Katie Johns, Crissy VanDenburgh, Daniel Johns, Penny Turnbeaugh, Brody Turnbeaugh; numerous great grandchildren, extended family, loved ones and countless others whose lives he touched.
Harold was preceded in death by his parents Dorothy and George Moskowite; sister Shirley McQueeney; previous spouses Evelyn Moskowite and Joanne Moskowite; granddaughter Leigh McDermott
In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.
A funeral service will be held on Friday March 16, 2018 at 11:00 AM at Tulocay Cemetery Chapel, 411 Coombsville Road, Napa.
Memories may be shared with the family at www.tulocaycemetery.org