Derek Cordier, Esquire
319 South Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17104
Phone: 717 919-4002
Fax: (717) 230-1931
veterans associations, and clubs. Both of them had a passion for the arts and the theatre. Harry sang with opera singer Marilyn Horn when she performed in Harrisburg in 1995 and with the Texas Men’s Chorus at Carnegie Hall in 1993. They loved working in their immaculate garden, eating gourmet food, and drinking fine wine.
I came to know the both of them last January, when Arthyr became terminally ill and they decided that they needed to get their wills, living wills, and powers of attorney in order. Sadly, in late March I received a call from Harry letting me know Arthyr had passed away. Harry also told me what happened when the ambulance came for Arthyr.
The paramedic took Arthyr’s vital signs and then asked Harry if Arthyr had a Living Will and a designated Power of Attorney for Health Care. Arthyr had both and he had designated Harry as his Power of Attorney. Then the paramedic allowed Arthyr to complete the dying process instead of resuscitating him. Arthyr died at home with the love of his life and soul mate-just as he had hoped.
It all began on April 23rd 1955, when Harry O'Donnell met Arthyr Bennett at the Pink Elephant, a bar located at corner of Mulberry and Chestnut Streets in Harrisburg. The second floor was gay. They would spend the next 50 years together, traveling the world and loving each other. Arthur was born in 1926. After attending Harrisburg High School and graduating from the class of 1944, Arthyr served with the Army Central Rhineland Ground Forces during WWII. He was the recipient of several medals including the Bronze Star. Harry was born in 1934. He attended Shippensburg High School and graduated from the class of 1952. Harry served during the Korean War and graduated from the Army Finance School. After their military service, Arthyr worked at the Mechanicsburg Naval Depot as a Management Analyst and was credited for developing SPCCs Item Management Coding System. He retired in 1970 after 25 years of service. Harry worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare as the Payroll Division Chief. He retired in 1989 after 33 years of service. Upon retirement, Harry received an accommodation from the Pennsylvania State Senate for distinguished service. Over the years, Harry and Arthyr helped care for elderly family members. They volunteered extensively with area churches,
~ 50 YEARS OF LOVE AND LIFE ~
Being able to help Harry and Arthyr reminded me of why I became and attorney in the first place. If Arthyr had not completed his Living Will, he may have been resuscitated. His death could have been painful, unnecessarily prolonged, and taken place in a hospital. Since they were not legally married, Harry may not have been able to make any medical decisions for Arthyr and possibly not even been allowed to visit Arthyr during his last days.
On April 23, 2005 on their 50th Anniversary, Harry held a beautiful memorial service for Arthyr. The pastor spoke eloquently and even told a packed church that “he could bless a house or a dog, but not the union of Harry and Arthyr.” What a shameful society we live in that does not want to acknowledge such an incredible 50 year MARRIAGE.