Ward Arthur Harding passed away on Sunday, February 7, 2021 at the age of 90. During this time of COVID-19 and visiting restrictions, it was a mixed blessing that his daughters were able to ‘be’ on the phone with him as he breathed his last few gentle breaths.
Ward was born on December 1, 1930 to Adonrian and Florence (Harker) Harding in Peoria, Illinois and grew up in his beloved town of Brimfield, Illinois, often describing his childhood there as idyllic. He was shaped by those around him who shared the belief to follow the ‘Golden Rule’ to treat others as you would have others treat you. Ward is survived by his two daughters, Linda (Steven) Pituch, Pamela Harding; and grandchild, Paul Pituch. He is preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Richard and James Harding.
Ward was a proud US Marine Corps veteran of the Korean war. Thereafter he enjoyed a rewarding career as a teacher, principal, and superintendent of schools and later in life was an owner of a business supply company. In retirement he worked as a part-time driver doing small deliveries.
Ward was a person who knew that no good newspaper should go unread and similarly no-good cup of coffee should be passed up. He was also a man who believed that ‘understanding’ is the most important word and was a subscriber to seeking contentment. As he aged, he became emboldened to share a short lecture with anyone who would listen on the importance of doing the ‘right thing’. As a man in his 80’s, he had a dedicated commitment to the Salvation Army and its’ mission. As one of their most impassioned bell ringers, he felt that every encounter was an opportunity to share a welcoming smile, a friendly conversation, convey a genuine warm sentiment and give children a chance to ring the bell too. He was gratified by the Salvation Army’s incredible work and mission and truly wanted to have as great an impact as possible for the cause. His unintended rewards were the many friends and personal connections he made along the way and he encouraged everyone to take up the bell to help others too.
The viewing will be on Thursday, February 11, 2021 from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. at Ryan Funeral Home, 2418 N. Sherman Ave, Madison, WI., with the memorial service held at 5:30 p.m. Ward will be laid to rest in a community that was held dear to his heart. A private family burial will take place with military honors at Brimfield Cemetery on Friday, February 12, 2021.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Salvation Army office at 3030 Darbo Drive, Madison, WI 53714 or at https://centralusa.salvationarmy.org/danecounty/ or Wounded Warriors United Wisconsin at 115 East Millard Street, Madison, WI 54961, or at www.woundedwarriorsunitedwi.org
To view and sign this guestbook, please visit: www.ryanfuneralservice.com.
Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services
2418 N Sherman Ave
To send flowers to Ward's family, please visit our floral store.