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John Snodgrass3/8/1919 - 6/25/2013 Harding

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John Snodgrass3/8/1919 - 6/25/2013 Harding Obituary
Harding, John Snodgrass

3/8/1919 - 6/25/2013

John S. Harding, Cornell University professor emeritus of Human Development and Family Studies, died June 25, 2013, in Ithaca, NY, a few weeks after a stroke and heart attack. He was 94. John was born March 8, 1919, in Chicago, IL, the son of Samuel Bannister Harding and Margaret Snodgrass Harding. John attended St. Paul Academy and University High School in Minneapolis graduating in 1934. He excelled at chess and tennis as well as academically. John received his B.A. from the University of Minnesota and his M.A. and Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard University in 1943. In 1942 he held a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship at the Princeton University Office of Public Opinion Research. After receiving his Ph.D., John enlisted in the U.S. Army where he served as a research psychologist with the U.S. Army Air Forces helping to develop better measures of potential enrollees for officer candidate school and flight school. John was transferred frequently while serving in the Army, including to England, which he enjoyed despite it being war time. In September, 1944, John married Margaret Alice Webster in Little Rock, Arkansas. At the time of his discharge in May, 1946, in St. Louis, Missouri, John held the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. From 1946 to 1952, John and Marge lived in New York City where he carried out research on combating prejudice and discrimination for the American Jewish Congress. From 1952 to 1953, he was employed on a test development project at New York University's Research Center for Human Relations. In 1953, John came to Cornell University, in the Department of Child Development and Family Relationships and was associated with the Cornell Program in Social Psychiatry. His research was in the areas of intergroup relations and mental health. He was especially noted for his mentoring of graduate students in the statistical analysis of the data they gathered while conducting their research. One of his favorite undergraduate courses to teach was the Study of Lives in which most of the assigned reading materials were the biographies of accomplished and inspiring people. He was a member of the American Psychological Association, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, and the Society for Research in Child Development. John walked to work every day for 36 years. He was active as a faculty representative in the Cornell Senate and served on numerous college committees. John retired from Cornell in 1989. John was active in Ithaca community affairs, serving on the Troop Committee of Boy Scout Troop 18, and the board of the Friendship Center, among other organizations. He was a Democratic ward committeeman a volunteer driver with Friends in Service Helping (FISH). John and Margaret loved to travel and took annual summer camping trips to Minnesota to visit family and friends. John was a member of St. Luke Lutheran Church for over forty years. In January, 1996, John and Margaret were among the first to move into the newly opened Kendal at Ithaca, a continuing care retirement community. While a resident of Kendal, he was on the Tennis Committee, the Computer Committee, the Lyceum Committee, and One Kendal. He participated in the Interfaith Worship Group, and regularly volunteered as a pool sitter. He is fondly remembered throughout the Kendal community for his singing, his ability to recite poems from memory, and his unfailing good cheer. John is survived by his children David John Harding (Pauline Negomir) of Warrenville, IL; Elisabeth Susan Harding (Thomas C. Hutton) of Bronxville, NY; and Robert Charles Harding (Allan H. Valgemae) of Minneapolis, MN; five grandchildren: Margaret Ann Harding of Newport Beach, CA, Elisabeth Mary Harding of Rancho Cucamunga, CA, Thomas Samuel Hutton of Bronxville, NY, Elisabeth Ann Hutton of Bronxville, NY, and John Edward Hutton of New York, NY; his sister, Mary Katherine Foale of Cambridge, England; a nephew, Michael Foale of Seabrook, Texas; a niece, Susan Foale Urpeth of Greenwich, England, and another niece, Mary Jane Gilliat of Gaithersburg, MD. John is also survived by his care giver and life coach, Cindy Morrison of Ithaca, NY. Predeceasing him were his wife Margaret, in 2002; a sister, Margaret Harding Love; and a nephew, Christopher Foale. A memorial service to celebrate John's life will be held on Saturday, November 2, 2013, at 3:00 PM, in the auditorium of Kendal at Ithaca, 2230 N. Triphammer Rd., Ithaca, NY, 14850. In lieu of flowers, the family asks those who wish to make a memorial contribution in John's memory to kindly consider: Tompkins County FISH (Friends in Service Helping), 150 Pearsall Place, Ithaca, NY 14850; Kitchen Theatre Company, 417 W. State/W. MLK, Jr. Street, Ithaca, New York 14850; or the .

Published in Ithaca Journal on Oct. 19, 2013
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