GAARDER Harold James, born August 2, 1927, near Musselshell River in Montana, died on Monday, January 18, 2016 at the Brockton VA Hospital. Harold was the son of Olaf and Ruth (Smith) Gaarder. He was preceded in death by his brothers Karl, Raymond, and Gilbert; and by his sister Eda Mai Boswell. He is survived by his brother, Thomas, of Whittier, CA; many nieces, nephews, and friends. Harold attended one-room schools in the mid-west, served in the Army during WWII, and graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in English. He taught high school in Texas before moving to the Boston area, where he was employed at the Alley Theater. At the Alley Theater, Harold’s many tasks included acting, in which he won an award for his portrayal of a WWII traumatized veteran. Harold also worked at the famed Poet’s Theater, where he met many writers, including John Ashberry, Richard Wilbur, Dylan Thomas and Truman Capote. He contributed to the Christian Science Monitor during this period as well. Harold settled in South Boston in the 1980’s and his home was a combination art gallery, found-item treasury, and library. Saturday mornings found him listening to “Hillbilly at Harvard” on the radio. Harold was a long time member of the Athenaeum, where he met many fellow travelers. Harold loved poetry, art, music, and the unusual; and made many friends through these activities. Harold will be deeply missed by the many friends and family. A celebration of Harold’s life will be held at the Athenaeum, 10 1/2 Beacon St., Boston, on January 28, at 11:00 A.M. All are invited.
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Published in Boston Herald from Jan. 26 to Jan. 27, 2016