Sunnyside High School Alumni

Sunnyside, Washington (WA)

Alumni Stories

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Harry A. Pryde

Class of 1948

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Harry A. Pryde
August 21, 1930 � March 30, 2009

Harry Pryde, long time advocate for affordable housing, passed away March 30, 2009, following a three year illness. Born to Ruby and Aubrey Pryde on a depression-era farm near Sunnyside, Washington, Harry planned a life trajectory that would take him from asparagus fields in the Yakima Valley, to Seattle, to Washington D.C., and to most of the world. After completing his degree in Economics and Business at Washington State University, he served two years as an officer in the U.S. Air Force, with an extended posting in (then French) Morocco.

Following his military service he entered the University of Washington in what is now the Evans School of Public Affairs to earn a Master's degree in Public Administration. There he met his future wife, Ann Catoni, in an Administrative Law class. Before completing his studies, Harry held an internship as Assistant City Manager of Port Angeles. Following graduation, he worked at the University of Washington in the Association of Washington Cities and the Institute of Governmental Research, an experience that he often remarked he greatly valued. It was in these years that Harry confirmed his belief in the interplay of higher education and the formation of public policies on critical issues such as urban planning and housing.

Harry entered the business world as a home builder, starting with a few houses in the Northgate area. In time he founded Pryde Corporation, a diversified company responsible for developing and building homes, apartment complexes, office buildings, convalescent centers and condominiums. He built one of the first condominium buildings in Seattle in 1970 on Capitol Hill overlooking Lake Union.

Harry devoted many years to working on national and local housing issues. In 1983, he was elected president of the National Association of Home Builders, the first builder from the northwest to be elected to this position. He had also been president of the Seattle and Washington State Master Builder's Association. He was inducted into the National Housing Hall of Fame, as well as the local and state Master Builder's Association Hall of Fame, and the University of Washington Construction Hall of Fame.

He served on numerous civic, state, and national boards, including the Seattle Housing Authority, Washington State Affordable Housing Commission, Washington State Housing Finance Commission, and the Washington State Housing Task Force.

He was a founder of Enterprise Bank in 1988, and on the Board of Directors of both the Seattle and Bellevue Chambers of Commerce. He was a Director of DASH (non-profit housing for low income families). He also was a Director of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle.

In his private capacity and as a friend and advisor of public figures, Harry Pryde continued to emphasize the importance of affordable housing. His ongoing multiple interests in public policy and economics in housing were recognized when he received the 2006 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Graduate School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. He established a fellowship in 2002 to provide internships in Washington D.C., for graduate students in the Evans School of Public Affairs so students may gain insight into national and global policy.

Having learned to play the violin as a boy, Harry remained devoted to musical and other cultural activities. He enjoyed attending concerts of the Seattle Symphony as well as lectures and seminars on public affairs. Harry and his wife Ann have been donors to many cultural, civic, and academic organizations.

Harry had a fascination for the world at large. He was a prolific traveler with a global curiosity, seizing every opportunity to visit other nations. He sought to expand and encourage knowledge and understanding through the experience of travel, as when he led his family on a historical tour of Europe and the Aegean Sea in 1973. Other family activities included riding the rapids through the Grand Canyon, sailing the Gulf Islands and around Vancouver Island, and weekly skiing at Crystal Mountain. He enjoyed his time boating and skiing with family and friends, and his many walks on the beach. He was a voracious reader, well-informed and forthright in his opinions. He remained active and engaged with the world throughout his life, falling ill while skiing in Sun Valley.

Harry Pryde valued principles of hard work, established in his early childhood on the family farm. He constantly sought to expand his and others' knowledge of the world. His family expresses great admiration and a deep appreciation for all he accomplished and for all he gave, his love and his caring.

He is survived by Ann, his wife of 52 years, 3 children, 6 grandchildren; by his sister, sister-in-law and brother-in-law, several nieces and nephews and many devoted friends.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Plymouth Housing Group (for the Homeless), 2113 Third Avenue, Seattle WA 98121 or Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 605, Seattle WA 98101.

A private family service was held. A celebration of his life will be held on Sunday, April 19 at 3:00 p.m. at the Seattle Yacht Club.


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