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Harry Ailport

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Aug. 4, 1937-Jan. 19, 2008

Harry Ailport, 70, of Mahnomen, died Saturday, January 19, 2008 in his home.

Harry Arbert Ailport was born the son of Hazel and Jim Ailport on Aug. 4, 1937 in Footville, Wis. He grew up in Dansbury, Wis., and attended school there. Furthering his education, Harry obtained training as a machinist at a vocational school. In 1955, he entered the United States Army, where he served his country for two years. Upon an honorable discharge, Harry moved to Chicago, Ill., to begin his career as a machinist. He later moved to Minneapolis, where he was employed as a machinist for MFC manufacturing.

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On June 9, 1988 Harry married Ivy Norcross, and the couple made their home on Nett Lake, near White Earth. Harry worked at Audubon Engineering as a machinist and in 1994, began working at the Shooting Star Casino in the maintenance department, where he continued to be employed until the time of his death.

In 2004, Harry was blessed with the adoption of his daughter, Jena. He also served as a foster parent to over 70 children throughout the years. Harry proudly worked beside many of the children he helped and considered them friends. He was a talented artist and spent many hours crafting beautiful birch bark and beadwork projects. He was always learning new skills and most recently perfected the skill of quillwork.

Harry was also a gifted dancer, and often participated in traditional native dances. He loved to fish, spend time in the woods and make various jellies. As a handyman, Harry continually made updates to his home on the lake. He cherished his "special girl" Jena and greatly enjoyed playing with all of his grandchildren.

Harry is survived by his wife, Ivy, and daughter, Jena, both of White Earth; three brothers, John (Barb) of Chicago, Ill., Bill (Barb) of Barronette, Wis., and Mike (Kim) of Phoenix, Ariz.; one sister, Marge (Bob) of Pansburry, Wis.; five stepchildren, Norma (Francis White) Jacobson of Mahnomen, Dale (Becky) Warren of White Earth, Mark (Lisa) Warren of Ogema, Daniel Warren of White Earth and Kristi (Mike) Morley of Mahnomen; 26 grandchildren; and 12 great grandchildren.

Preceding Harry in death were his parents; one brother, Jim; one stepdaughter, Pamela Warren; and one granddaughter, Amber Crosby.

A mass of Christian burial was held Friday, Jan. 25, at St. Michaels Catholic Church, Mahnomen, with the Rev. Mitch Byeck, OMI, officiating.

Pallbearers were Nick Crosby, Michael Jacobson, Brandon Adams, Sean Jacobson, James Longfield and Anthony Longfield. Serving as honorary bearers were all of Harry's co-workers at the Shooting Star Casino. Military Rites were given by the American Legion Isaacson-Bjorge Post 31 of Mahnomen.

Arrangements were entrusted to Anderson-Mattson Funeral Home of Mahnomen and Winger, Minn. The funeral home has an online guest book available at www.andersonmattson.com.

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