Harry Itzkow, longtime director of the Everett Child Guidance Center and a mentor to many social workers, died at his home Sunday after a brief illness. He was 71.
Colleagues remember him for the quiet, unassuming manner with which he dealt with clients and professionals alike.
``He was able to get the best out of people without needing to be recognized,'' said Bob Macdonald, former professor at the University of Washington School of Social Work.
As a result, Macdonald said, the Everett Child Guidance Center became ``one of the choice placements'' for UW social-work internships.
Macdonald, who met Mr. Itzkow while working with teen-age gang members in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in the late 1940s, credits Mr. Itzkow with helping him decide to go into social work.
Bill Allen, a colleague who worked with Mr. Itzkow at the Everett Child Guidance Center for a decade, described him as ``a politician and fund-raiser'' who enjoyed working with juvenile courts and other social-service agencies.
Mr. Itzkow ran the Child Guidance Center, a state agency, at a time of debate over how best to deal with children's issues. During his tenure, the emphasis in state-funded children's programs shifted from child guidance to delinquency prevention and finally to family reconciliation.
In the late 1970s, Mr. Itzkow served on a regional management team that charted the course for the Department of Social and Health Services' new emphasis. The Child Guidance Center, at one time part of the state Department of Institutions, was absorbed into the Family Reconciliation Division of DSHS.
Mr. Itzkow helped found the Mental Health and Mental Retardation Foundation of Snohomish County in 1965.
A native of Winnipeg, Mr. Itzkow began his career as a high-school teacher and principal in rural Manitoba in the mid-1940s. He took his first social-work job in 1947, placing children in foster homes in Saskatchewan.
He received his master's degree from Columbia University's New York School of Social Work in 1953. From 1948 to 1958, he was employed by social-service agencies in Vancouver, B.C., and by a school district in Snyder, Texas.
He accepted a job with the Everett Child Guidance Center in 1958 and continued to counsel children and their families even after becoming director of the agency. He retired in 1979.
Remembered for his love of children, Mr. Itzkow remained childless.
Unable to play some sports because of a childhood hip injury, he became an enthusiastic participant in curling and lawn bowling. He was a member of the Queen City Lawn Bowling Club when it won the national championship two years ago.
He met his wife, Jane, a social worker, at a professional convention in 1960.
He is survived by his wife; a brother, Bill, of Winnipeg; and numerous nephews.
At Mr. Itzkow's request, no services are planned, but a celebration of his life will be scheduled later.
The family suggests that memorials be sent to the Kenmore Fire Department Aid Car Fund, 18030 73rd Ave. N.E., Bothell, 98011; Queen City Lawn Bowling Club, 6342 52nd St. N.E., Seattle 98115; American Cancer Society; or Hospice of Seattle.