PORTAGE  -- Neale “Dick” Harding, age 87, of Portage passed away on July 21st, 2010 at home with family, following a brief, courageous, battle with cancer.

The son of Frank Sr. and Stella (Singrin) Harding, Dick was born on August 23, 1922 in Dubuque, Iowa.  During World War II, he served as a United States Naval Reserve Gunnery Mate 3rd class as a bow gunner on PT 365 and other boats of Squadron 18 in the Pacific Theatre from December 1942 to September 1945.  His military commendations include: World War II Victory, American Campaign and Asiatic Pacific Campaign medals with two Bronze Stars.  Dick married Carol Harmes on June 4, 1949 and together they raised six children.  He retired from Wisconsin Power and Light as a Line Clearance Foreman in 1985 after 34 years of service.  Dick was an active member of the Portage EAA chapter, and served on the Portage Airport Commission from 1977 to 1991.  He was a charter member of the Airport Coffee Klatch, where he befriended many. He was also a lifelong NRA member. Dick’s many friends and relatives will miss his gregarious personality, quick wit, and feisty spirit.

Dick is survived by his wife, Carol Harding of Portage and their six children:  Marc (Deb) Harding, Chippewa Falls, WI, Scott (Mary Ann) Harding, Homer, AK, Julie Harding (Joe Kroeninger), Oregon, WI, Ann Harding (Jeff Ernst), Melbourne Beach, FL, Jeff Harding, Golden, CO and Sara Harding, Lincoln, NE.  He is also survived by five grandchildren: Carinna Harding (Matt Marek), Billy Beaman, Jessi Beaman, Spencer Harding-McDermott, Calla Harding-McDermott, and one great-grandson: Paul Marek.  In addition, Dick is survived by his brother Bill (Doris) Harding, Nekoosa, WI, his sister Rita (Dave) Hoagland, Tucson, AZ, sister-in-law, Dorothy Harding, Three Lakes, WI, brother-in-laws, Douglas Harmes, Milwaukee, WI and Dick Harmes, Oxford WI, and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.  He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother Frank, Jr. and two sisters, Patsy White, Jane Shaw, and in-laws Bob Harmes, and Fern Harmes.

To celebrate Dick’s life, a gathering for family and friends will be held at the Portage Elks Club, 201 W. Conant St., Portage Wisconsin on Saturday, August 7th, from 1:00-3:30PM.  Per Dick’s style, casual dress is suggested.  A private inurnment ceremony will be held at a later date. 

In lieu of flowers memorials to:  American Cancer Society and Home Health United Hospice.

A special thank you to the staff of Home Health United Hospice, and Homeward Bound, for their care in this difficult time


For information please call 608 742-2126 (Portage, WI) or 608 635-2763 (Poynette, WI)