He was the loving husband of Dorace (Hornberger) Harding since July 1, 1951. Born in Mohnton, son of Paul and Debbie (Stoner) Harding, he was a 1944 graduate of Mohnton High School, a 1950 graduate of Allentown's Muhlenberg College, and a 1953 graduate of the Philadelphia Lutheran Seminary.
Ordained into the ministry, he served eight years at Jordan Lutheran Church in the Lehigh Valley; thirty years in Jacksonwald at Schwarzwald Lutheran Church, where he is Pastor Emeritus; three years as an interim pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Gouglersville; and seventeen years as the pastoral assistant at Grace Lutheran Church in Shillington. During those years, he inspired five young men to follow their call into the Lutheran ministry.
A U.S. Army veteran of World War II, he served with the 95th Division during the time of the Battle of the Bulge in Europe. He completed his 1944-46 military obligation as a chaplain's assistant, playing the organ for services.
While in seminary, he was the chapel organist and choir accompanist. Later, he served for a decade as the organist for the Northeast Pennsylvania Synod.
In early retirement, he served as Pastor, Pastoral Assistant and Dean to the Retirees. As a Mount Penn Rotary member, he was chaplain, piano accompanist and worked on many community projects. Amazingly, he found time to ride with the Reading Police Department on domestic calls.
Emphasis was always on his family and parish ministry: creating new programs, stimulating growth, increasing benevolence, developing youth involvement, service pilgrimages, strengthening the faith and witness of the congregation and welcoming new members.
The growth and genuine support of many made it possible to build the new Schwarzwald Sanctuary in 1963. The bell tower holds a 24 bell carillon imported from the Van Bergen Company in Holland. Ongoing challenges were well-met for that parish, which was organized in 1737.
Family togetherness was always of great value, towing a trailer and flying to widespread areas! His legacy to all the lives he touched can in no way be measured. Blessed to be a blessing, he shall be sorely missed and appreciated for his efforts to make this a better world, respected and loved always.
In addition to his devoted wife, Dorace, he is survived by daughter, Constance, her husband, Glenn Uejio, of Honolulu, HI; son, Joel, his wife, Denise, of Lorton, VA; three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren: Rebecca Uejio Schmidt, husband, Ron, and daughter, Rachel in CA; Steven and Michelle Uejio and daughters, Naomi and Mahalia, in VA; Kirk and Ruth Uejio in HI.
Other survivors include brother, Emerson Harding and sister, Ruth Harding Arnold, both of Allentown; sister-in-law, Lorraine Lesher of Mifflin Court, Shillington, and their families.
He was predeceased by brother, Warren, and brother-in-law, Leon Lesher.
Funeral Services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 23, 2014 in Schwarzwald Lutheran Church, 250 Church Lane Road, Reading, PA 19606. At Pastor Harding's request, daughter Constance will play the prelude on the harp. Interment will be private at the convenience of the family.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Rev. Harding's memory may be given to Schwarzwald Lutheran Church at the above stated address or Grace Lutheran Church, 30 Liberty St., Shillington, PA 19607.
Lutz Funeral Home, Inc., Mount Penn is in charge of arrangements.
Online condolences may be recorded at www.LutzFuneralHome.com. Mail may be sent to Mrs. Dorace Harding, 2000 Cambridge Ave., Apt. #110, Wyomissing, PA 19610-2723.