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HARDING, Christopher Robert 68, of Dorchester, died of a malignant brain tumor on December 22, 2016. He was the son of the late Anneliese (Semar) and Robert A. Harding of Wellesley. Christopher is survived by his brothers: Peter X. and his wife Kethi (Maw Naing); Fr. Nicholas J. OMI; Luke J. and his wife Conni (Neal); and Mark H. Harding. In addition, he leaves behind many loving nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, cousins and a wide circle of devoted friends and colleagues. A graduate of College du Leman International School in Geneva, Switzerland, Christopher also attended school in Argentina. He was a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Yale University and earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University. Applying his education in and passion for William Shakespeare, Chris taught male prisoners at the Suffolk County House of Correction for ten years as well senior citizens at the University of Massachusetts Boston's Osher Life-Long Learning Institute. In addition, he worked as an arts and entertainment reporter for Neighborhood Network News in Boston, and for a variety of Dorchester newspapers, including the Dorchester Reporter. Much of the final third of his life was also dedicated to the Men's Movement, organizing national men's events, editing the national Wingspan: Journal of the Male Spirit and editing the anthology Wingspan: Inside the Men's Movement. His other books include A Cop's Cop and Yale Trivia. Deeply committed to his community, Chris was a volunteer cook at the Paulist Center's Wednesday Night Supper Club, and was actively involved in his St. Teresa Parish. There will be a Funeral Mass on Thursday, December 29th, at 10 a.m. at St. Margaret Church of St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish, 800 Columbia Road in Dorchester. Mass will be followed by a reception at the church and burial at St. Mary's Cemetery, 1 Wellesley Ave., Needham. In lieu of flowers, the family invites donations for the poor in the mission of Peru where Chris's brother Fr. Nick serves - US Province, Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate - 120 Michigan Ave., NE Washington, DC 20017, check memo Peru Delegation - Chris Harding memorial. For guestbook, Arrangements by the Murphy Funeral Home, DORCHESTER.

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Published in Boston Globe from Dec. 27 to Dec. 28, 2016.
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23 entries
December 23, 2019
Chris and our musical productions got me through law school, and left an indelible memory. Although we never succeeded in following up with other shows after that time, Chris's brilliant lyrics remain as a monument to him, for everyone who has heard them.
Richard Hope
June 29, 2017
Chris, our mutual friend Donna, and I shared many meals from Naples Pizza during the 1970 school year at Yale, his senior year. Not only did he distinguish himself as an exceptional person, his friendship was extraordinary, expansive, and engaging. The light of his presence was unwavering and pure. I shall miss him unfathomably.
Dan Tilson
March 24, 2017
I just learned of Chris's passing.He was passionate about the men's movement which I attended the biannual gathering for many years which benefited many people.
kevin merry
February 28, 2017
I am very sad to learn of Chris's death. I first met him in 1972, in my first year at Harvard Law School, when Chris was in graduate school. We worked on four Law School Shows together, and a couple of Harvard College productions. Chris was a brilliant lyricist - I still find myself reciting some of his lyrics, more than 40 years later. Examples: (1) From a "patter song" about Ralph Nader (music by Richard Hope) titled "Ralph Raider, Chief Crusader" - "For meddling noted / and prying devoted / I'm quite often quoted / by Time Magazine." (2) From a swing tune about life at the Law School at the time of the film "Paper Chase" (for which I wrote the music) titled "The Paper Waste" - "Folks are tense are sour-looking / That's from too much power-booking / Wasting paper by the ream / Exam-time pressures are building up steam / Don't let Law School make you a litterbug / Release your tensions and make like a jitterbug." The Harding & Hope song-writing team rivaled Kander & Ebb. Chris's enthusiasm was infectious, his knowledge of show-tunes (as well as Walter Scott) was legendary. The world is a poorer place without him. My condolences to his family.
February 14, 2017
I just now read of Chris' passing. I am struck by his loss to our community. He was a man dedicated to learning and to connecting people to services and to each other. I will miss him, and offer my deepest condolences to his family and friends. - Andrea Kunst
January 30, 2017
I had the privilege of being an OLLI student in Prof Harding's classes. I had been encouraged to take his classes by a friend who was in her 7th year of being Prof Harding's student. He opened my eyes and ears to Shakespeare as well as using different and sometimes "barely noticed" films to help us look beyond the script. I will treasure the times I was lucky enough to be in the wonder of a truly gifted teacher.

Prof Harding, may I ask you to smile upon all of us whose lives you touched.
Virginia Gannon
December 31, 2016
My deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Chris Harding.
I know Chris from his strong leadership of the Massachusetts Men's Gathering which I have attended faithfully since 2001. The MMG experience changed my life, and I am a better, happier man for what Chris and MMG has given me. Chris made sure each new man was welcomed and respected for who and what he is. His energy, determination and enthusiasm for getting things just right at each Gathering was inspiring.
I will remember Chris as my mentor, always supporting and encouraging me to share my knowledge and talents with the other men at each Gathering. His support has helped numerous men learn, grow and work towards being the best we each can be.
I will miss Chris, but he will remain with us in spirit. His work will be carried on by the men to whom he has given so much of himself.
Love you, Chris.
Barry Bailey
December 29, 2016
Chris has a big spirit and had a big body. I worked side by side with him on the MMG organizing committee for many years. I'll always remember his bubbling chuckle and smile every time I greeted him with a hug as my 'little buddy.' Keep on truckin', Chris. None of us are far behind....

I offer a Hai-Kule of this moment:

My 'little buddy'
Held me in his loving arms
and let me cry.

My condolences to Chris's family, and thanks to his parents and family for any encouraging support or words you may have offered him throughout his life.

Kule / Julio / Kirk Jackman
Kirk Jackman
December 29, 2016
Chris touched the lives of hundreds of OLLI students with his knowledge, grace, and humor. His love of Mystery, History, Shakespeare, and the Arts will be immortalized through many of his archived lectures at

He will be remembered fondly.
Barry Hass
December 29, 2016
Chris's classes on movies and mysteries were enjoyed by so many OLLI students.
His delight in those subjects shone through. So many of his faithful "alums" will miss him dearly.
Virginia Kropas
December 28, 2016
Almost 9 years ago I attended my first weekend at the Massachusetts Men's Gathering. I met a number of good men, among them one of the gathering's leaders, Chris Harding. As I got to know Chris better, I found that he had a rich history with the men's movement. Leader, author, teacher, and a good friend. As I got more involved with MMG, I saw what a powerhouse Chris could be, he put everything into his work with MMG. Chris' passing leaves a hole in the MMG organization and a great sorrow for many of the men whose lives he touched. I send you off in peace, my friend.
Rick Sweeney
December 28, 2016
To the family of Christopher: It was with a saddened heart that I learned of Chris's passing; I extend to all of you my deepest sympathy. I meet Chris in the 1980's working with him on many plays and musicals with the South Boston Theater Group. His talent and knowledge of theater was phenomenal and we enjoyed many great memories from those days. Chris will be remembered by me as a wonderful kind gentle man and I am truly grateful to have had in my life. May the wonderful memories you have of Chris bring Peace to your hearts during this difficult loss. He shall always remain in mine. With condolences, I am,

Peggy (Waters) Ryan
South Boston, Ma
Peggy Waters Ryan
December 28, 2016
I will be forever indebted to Chris!! His spirit of giving was and is very profound indeed. I had the tremendous fortune of going to a men's gathering he helped to start called MMG for at least 23 years. Because of the tremendous love,and service and respect that we give to one another at these gatherings it has been truly life transforming for many,many men,including myself.I never dreamed it would have such a profound effect on me when I first participated. I've learned so much through the years, the main lesson being, how to become a better human being.

Thanks so much Chris!!! Love to you always.

Your MMG brother,
Marty Levin
Marty Levin
December 28, 2016
For many years i had the pleasure of working with Chris at Neighborhood Network News. As theNews Director I saw first hand the energy and passion he put into his weekly Arts Reports. He was a wonderful reporter and supporter of the Boston Arts Community and will be sorely missed. Personally I truly enjoyed working with Chris, not that the artistic temperament didn't come out at times, He was always there and ready to do anything to get the best story. Although I haven't worked with him for 15 years I will always appreciate and fondly remember Chris.
Charlie Rasmussen
December 28, 2016
Our deepest condolences to Chris' family. He was a warm friend.

Ned and Nan Daly and Jane Daly Grosskopf.
Ned Daly
December 28, 2016
Deepest Sympathies for Chris's passing. He made a big difference in the world with his men's movement activism. I attended the Massachusetts Men's Gathering with him since the beginning in 1989. He will be remembered for his efforts and love. Love, Jim Goulet
Jim Goulet
December 28, 2016
Chris, you touched so many and I am grateful to have known you and to have been in workshops with you over the years. Bless you for all the lives you enriched by the sharing of your spirit and compassion.

With gratitude,
Doug Arnold
Doug Arnold
December 28, 2016
So sorry for Chris's passing. He did so much for the men's movement, growth and Massachusetts Men's Gathering, which I attended from the beginning. He will be missed and remembered for his efforts.
With Deepest Sympathies, Jim Goulet
December 28, 2016
I can hear your deep belly laughs on MMG talent night. You encouraged and enjoyed people - a wonderful legacy.
Ken Eulie
December 28, 2016
Chris touched HUNDREDS of lives as one of the leaders of the ongoing labor of love that is the Massachusetts Men's Gathering. I will always be grateful for his support and enthusiasm regarding my musical life. We will miss him for decades to come...
Will McMillan
December 28, 2016
Chris will be deeply missed. He has touched me in many ways. I will miss his laughter, humor, and intelligence. He had such great love and caring for others. I am blessed to have known him. My prayers go out to his family. Chris will be forever loved and remembered.
Wayne Williams
December 27, 2016
May Chris "rest in peace and light perpetual shine on him."

James Moore
December 27, 2016
Dear Luke and Bros, and their families,

As you all know, Uncle Chris had an indomitable spirit! Despite his own struggles in this life, he was there for all of you as you grappled to accept that the tumor was going to take him away. He was giving and instructive, until his exit. We were all blessed to know him!
Fly free, Chris.
See you in the next life! Love, Mil

I regret that I will not be there with all of you to celebrate his life on Thursday.
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