ATLANTA, GA. - Richard 'Ricky' Allen Harding, 57, passed away on Jan. 14, 2009, in Atlanta, Ga., following a brief illness.
Rick was born on March 8, 1951, in his beloved Harlem, New York City. He was the second son of the late Gloria and James H. Harding.
After graduating from high school, he attended Fordham University prior to volunteering for the United States Air Force. While stationed at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Va., and taking classes at Hampton University, he met his future wife, Lillie Robinson, on campus where they both coached at risk children in the National Youth Sports Program.
After the couple married on June 6, 1981, they resided in Chicago, Ill., where Rick entered the field of telecommunications. He traveled throughout the United States and the world. Three years after relocating to Atlanta, Ga., he established his own company, 'Giraffe Communications Inc'. Richard was recognized as a prominent businessman, an industry leader and a true trail blazer. He was elected the 2003-2005 chairman of the International Prepaid Communications Association (IPCA), the trade group for the prepaid telecom industry.
Rick had a quick mind and a gigantic heart. He could carry on an engaging conversation with heads of state (and did) as well as the downtrodden man on the street without blinking an eye, and enjoyed them both. Although Richard loved his work, deeply loved his friends, embraced his church, St. Paul's Baptist Church in Atlanta, Ga., his one true love was his wife, 'Lillie'. Richard was a family oriented person and enjoyed spending time with his wife, his second love 'Barnie', his family and his many, many friends.
Richard is survived by his wife Lillie, 'Barnie'; his brothers, James Jr. and Michael (Rhonda) Harding; his sisters, Kim (John) Emile and Kehli (Rodney) Woodruff; a special niece, Ashley ( Michael) Gerhart; other nieces and nephews; a loving mother-in-law, Carrie L. Robinson; a devoted brother-in-law, Harvey Robinson Jr.; and many other relatives and true friends.
A service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23, 2009, at First Baptist Church of Hampton, Va., by the Rev. Dr. Richard W. Wills Sr., Pastor. Interment will follow in Hampton Memorial Gardens.
Arrangements by Ronald C. Perkins Funeral Home, Ronald C. Perkins Jr. Funeral director. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at dailypress.com/guestbooks.
Published in Daily Press from Jan. 21 to Jan. 22, 2009