For years, Harry Scharf had fought off a series of health concerns before his April 20 passing as a result of complications due to COVID-19.

A graduate of the local University of Pittsburgh, as a young man, Scharf left his hometown for the high seas. He served with distinction as a Navy communications and crypto officer during the Korean War, and the following 22 years as a member of the Navy Reserve. He retired with the rank of commander.

A patriotic American, he proudly celebrated Veterans Day and the Fourth of July with his full Army regalia and the U.S. flag, passing on that same love for his country that he inherited from his parents to his own family. Always active, he liked sports, sailing, camping and the great outdoors.

After four decades as a successful businessman, Scharf took on the mantle as general manager of the Cleveland Jewish News and adapted accordingly. A tough customer from his army days and years in business, he toned down his attitudes and views, and grew the paper in his 11 years at the helm.

He eventually described it as the best job he ever held. Scharf also served as the president of the American Jewish Press Association, the main professional organization for Jewish journalists and those in the Jewish news industry.

People who responded to the news of his passing included a fellow employee at the newspaper who said that “Harry was a valued colleague and friend who was supportive of the mission of the CJN, respected the hard work of his fellow staffers, and with his great business acumen put the Jewish News on the right financial path. I enjoyed all the years I worked with him.”

After his 1996 retirement, Scharf committed himself to community, volunteering as a docent for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and creative interests, such as painting.

Sharf is survived by his wife of 62 years, Joan; two sons, James and Michael; a sister, Dorothy Zablotsky; and extended family.

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