Harder, Philip M. "Banker, Sailor, Pilot and Poet" Philip M. Harder, 92, passed away peacefully on April 16 at his home and Wayzata. He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Margaret Shepard Harder; his two sons Phil Jr. (Kathie), and Shepard (Kate); and three grandchildren, Justin, Shep (Emily) and Christian Harder; his sisters Cynthia (Ned) Murray and Jennipher (Tom) Parr; brother-in-law Jim (Wendy) Shepard; and many nieces and nephews. Harder was born in New York City on September 8, 1920 and grew up in and around New England. Following his education at St. Mark's School in Southborough, Massachusetts and New York University night school, he married his "Flower," Maggie, on January 24, 1945. After graduating from St. Mark's, rather than going to college he joined the Merchant Marine, earned his third mate's license, and honed his maritime skills while pursuing a lifelong love of the sea. During World War II he enlisted in the Coast Guard as a seaman, rising to the rank of lieutenant (j.g.). During the early war years he patrolled the East Coast on donated sailboats, listening for enemy submarines with primitive sound gear. Later he participated in the D-Day invasion of Normandy, commanding a landing craft on Sword Beach. Following World War II, he began his career as a stockbroker with the family brokerage firm Harris Upham, which later became Smith Barney Harris Upham. In 1948 he moved to Minneapolis to raise a family and to expand his career aspirations in banking. In 1950 he joined the First National Bank of Minneapolis as an assistant cashier, rising to the position of Senior Vice President and Director. He remained with the bank for 21 years. In 1970 Harder developed an interest in social action initiatives, predicated on the foundation that the business community needed to give greater attention to the marginalized and disenfranchised members in the community. He was elected president of the Minneapolis Urban Coalition and used this platform to affect change. In 1971, with his one year term as president of the Urban Coalition concluded, Harder surprisingly resigned from the bank to pursue his new interests in change and social justice. This lead to Carleton College where he became the coordinator of a continuing education program called "The Carleton Seminars in the Liberal Arts." After Carleton, Harder returned to banking as President and Chief Operating Officer of Farmers and Mechanics Savings Bank in Minneapolis, where he finished his business career. From his early years, Harder developed a genuine love of the sea, and took every opportunity to sail New England waters with friends and family aboard his custom outfitted sailboat "Nordlys". His love of sailing and celestial navigation remained strong in retirement and he expanded his interests by learning to fly his beloved Cessna "24 Alpha". His desire to expand his knowledge of sailing and flying was a catalyst in cultivating a love of poetry, which first surfaced during his youth. His poetry covered a broad spectrum and he was published in The Sewannee Review and the Carleton Miscellany. Funeral Service, Friday, April 26 at 4:00 p.m. at St. Martin's by the Lake Episcopal Church. Memorials preferred to the Union Gospel Mission, 77 East 9th Street, St. Paul, MN 55101 and St. Martin's by the Lake Church, P.O. Box 38, Minnetonka Beach, MN. 55361. David Lee Funeral Home Wayzata 952-473-5577 www.davidleefuneralhome.com
This obituary was originally published in the Star Tribune.