Kenneth Edgar Harding, age 97, of Terry passed away on December 1, 2012 while sitting in his red chair and looking out his picture window.
Kenneth was born October 3, 1915, north of O’Neill, Nebraska, the first child of Irwin and Cora Pearl (Martin) Harding. His early memories of the family farm and life were a source of many stories. When he was eleven, his father made him the “man of the family” shortly before dying. This is a status that he carried throughout his entire life and he bore that responsibility well.
After graduating from Carter County High School in Ekalaka, Montana, he joined the Civilian Conservation Corp where he served proudly and became Sarge to many of the young men. He moved to Ogallala, Nebraska in the late 1930’s where he met his wife Margot Jensen. They were married and raised two sons Kenneth L. and Richard in Ogallala. He was a businessman that had many and varied businesses from bowling to tomatoes, but his love was always in the automobile business. He was a Studebaker dealer and later owner of Keith County Motors where he sold Chrysler, Plymouth and Dodge products until his retirement. In the 1970’s, he played a major role in helping his sons start the next generation of family businesses with the purchase of real estate in Key West, Florida. Then in the 1980’s he helped the family return to Montana and establish Harding Land and Cattle. He and his wife loved their home on the hill beside Lake McConaughy in Ogallala. They hosted many gatherings of family and friends. They created joyful memories that have been shared over four generations.
Kenneth enjoyed his retirement years spending winters in Key West and splitting summers between Ogallala and Montana. When he was no longer able to travel he made his home on the family farm between Miles City and Terry. He loved watching the cattle, field work, trains and his deer that would eat right outside his window.
He loved his wife, sons, daughter-in-law, grandchildren and great grandchildren and always enjoyed the family getting together.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a sister Luella and a brother Wayne. He is survived by his wife of 73 years Margot (Bobbie), sons Ken and Rick, daughter-in-law Patricia, two grandchildren Jeff (Kristine) and Tracy (Paul McElvery) and six great grandchildren. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews, their children and friends throughout the country. He was very fond of and grateful for his loyal caregivers over these past years. They were wonderful support and added greatly to his life.
Memorials will be held in many places and at many times over many years, from Key West to California and from Arizona to Montana. These memorials will take place as each of the people who were touched by the “man of the family” pause and realize we have been blessed to have known this man who lived with grace, dignity and never ending love of his wife and family. He will be missed as family and friends gather, but cherished for all his contributions to these gatherings.
Remembrances can be shared with each other and the family via email, facebook, telephone and the written letter that was so loved by Kenneth. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Friends of the Kenfield Gallery, P.O. Box 14, Ogallala, Nebraska 69153, The Prairie Community Hospital Foundation, P.O. Box 66, Terry, MT 59349, or to the Evelyn Cameron Heritage Inc., P.O. Box 441, Terry, MT 59349 Should friends desire, condolences may be sent to the family by visiting: www.stevensonandsons.com
Published Dec. 5, 2012