Harold Leonard Midtvedt passed away Monday, Jan. 15, 2018, at the Reston Hospital Center in Reston, Va., at the age of 81. Harold was born May 12, 1936, in Minneapolis to Harold Midtvedt Sr. and Dolores (Gephart) Midtvedt and was the oldest of five boys. Upon graduation from Lakeville High School he enrolled at the University of Minnesota in the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps.

After achieving a bachelor’s degree, Harold became a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy in 1958.  It was in the U.S. Navy that Harold got his wings to fly. From an early age he always wanted to travel and see the world. Becoming a Navy pilot was the path he chose to take him around the world. It was at the University of Minnesota that Harold met and married, right after their graduation, Karen Petersen of St. Louis Park, Minn. Together they had three children: Katherine, Michael and David. Harold’s career as a P-3 Orion Navy pilot captain took him around the globe as he had wished. It also meant Karen and the kids would move more than a dozen times during his 30-year Navy career.

Harold’s most prestigious career achievement was in 1983 when he was selected as the Brunswick Naval Air Station commander in Brunswick. In Maine, the family settled long enough for them to fall in love with the beautiful lakes, woods, and picturesque coastline. After his term as the commanding officer at NAS Brunswick finished, Harold moved one final time for the Navy and retired from his Navy Annex position at the Pentagon in 1988 with the rank of captain. Hanging up his Navy wings for the last time, Harold topped off a career that was fulfilling and enriching and one that served his nation from the start of the Vietnam War to the end of the Cold War. Along the way Harold was awarded the Legion of Merit/Meritorious Service Medal/Meritorious Unit Commendation/National Defense Service Medal/Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal/Vietnam Gallantry Cross/Vietnam Honor Medal/and Naval Aviator Insignia.

Once retired, Harold spent the next 25-plus years between Liberty; Vienna, Va.; and Bluffton, S.C. All three special places allowed him to be close to family and friends. In 2009, Harold’s “sunshine” was taken away when his loving wife Karen passed away after a long battle with cancer.

Harold started to travel the world again after meeting Peg Hamil of Reston, Va. Together they traveled to many places that both longed to see. During trips to Italy, Greece, Normandy, France, Mexico, Bermuda, Alaska and Hawaii, they explored together and enjoyed the history, cultures, and laughter of the family and friends that often accompanied them. Peg brought so much joy and laughter into Harold’s life, and he loved her dearly.

Harold will be remembered for his warm and cheery nature and his love for laughter over a good story shared with his relatives or close friends over beer. He loved spending summer days on Lake St. George, determinedly working on fixer-uppers ranging from cars to houses. His life enriched and rewarded those who knew him as Dad, Pops, and a dear friend. Harold will be deeply, deeply missed by all of those who loved him.

Harold is survived by his loving partner Peg; his three children Katherine (and Kevin) Painter of Eagle River, Alaska, Mike (and Darcy) Midtvedt of Vienna, Va., and David (and Libby Ruppert) Midtvedt of Sylvania, Ohio; grandchildren Michael Midtvedt, Chelsea Midtvedt, Kinkade Ruppert-Midtvedt, Chessica Ruppert-Midtvedt and Hayden Painter; and his brothers Phil (and Kathleen) Midtvedt of Alexandria, Minn., Denny (and Lois) Midtvedt of Green Bay, Wisc., and David (and Rosie) Midtvedt of Penn Valley, Calif.

Harold was preceded in death by his parents Harold Sr. and Dolores Midtvedt, wife Karen Midtvedt, and brother Raymond Midtvedt.

Interment at Arlington National Cemetery and commemoration at Lake St. George will be held at later dates.