Longtime Corinth resident, Lauren Martel Harding, 70, died July 7, 2018, at Glens Falls Hospital following a brief illness.
He was born October 1, 1947 in Waterville, Maine, the son of Perry A. and Erva (Perkins) Harding. He inherited his father’s paper making skills and his mother’s quick wit.
Known as “Lonnie” as a child, he was the oldest and boldest of the cousins. When he arrived at the Perkins Family compound in Madison, echoes of “Lonnie is here” filled the air as the cousins gathered to celebrate. Life was never dull when he was around.
In his youth he was active in the Boy Scouts and neighborhood baseball. He maintained an extensive stamp collection, and was an avid fisherman. He was never happier than when he was trying to hook the big one.
Lauren graduated from Livermore Falls (Maine) High School in 1965, where he excelled in science and math. He was an honor student and a member of the football team. A popular student, he was well known for his intelligence and practical jokes.
He attended the University of Maine (Orono) for two years and served in the United States Air Force.
Lauren worked for International Paper Company for over 25 years, at the Otis, Tonawanda and Corinth mills. He was a reliable and dedicated paper machine supervisor, retiring due to medical reasons in 1994.
A handsome man, he married twice, to Carol Harris of Livermore, Maine and Ivy Joudrey of Canton, Maine. Although both marriages ended in divorce, he was forever grateful for the most precious gifts they gave him: his children.
He brought energy and enthusiasm to his parenting. Valuing time spent with his children, he enjoyed taking them camping, fishing and hiking. He taught them about geology and an appreciation for nature. Throughout his life he often demonstrated the love of his family, including his dogs. He was happiest when he was surrounded by loved ones, and he was never reluctant to tell those he loved that he loved them.
His faith in God and salvation through Christ were easily the most important thing to him. He liked to say “God is my Commander in Chief” and he never wavered from that. He took every opportunity to inspire others and hardly ever ended a phone call without saying “keep the faith.”
Words are inadequate to describe what a complex, interesting, entertaining, imaginative and intelligent man he was. He enjoyed riding motorcycles, planting a huge garden, collecting rocks, and – always – fishing. He could state when and where he obtained each rock in his collection and he could identify the precise time and location of every big fish he ever caught.
Honest and a hard worker, he was devoted to his family, an excellent mechanic, a quick wit, and someone who always tried to do the right thing. He enjoyed “dump digging” in an old landfill for hours and days at a time, eating ice cream, listening to music, watching the Red Sox and reading about history. Politics interested him and he had a soft spot for animals.
Genealogy was of particular interest to Lauren. He could chart descendants on both sides of his family back to the Mayflower and beyond. The Civil War fascinated him and he liked to recite which Harding Family members fought in it. He was especially proud to point out that one of them was in the posse that captured John Wilkes Booth.
He loved Corinth and agreed it truly is “The Gateway to the Adirondacks.” Summers spent fishing, camping and “jacking” rocks in his favorites of Essex County and town of Adirondack with family and friends provided some of his happiest memories.
While his family did not always agree with his choices of independence and refusal to accept help in his later years, they admired and respected his strength and commitment to simplicity. He was content with the simple things in life. He despised greediness and was exceedingly generous with anything he had to give. He was confounded by today’s ignorance and materialism.
Lauren Harding was a man who lived life to the fullest and on his own terms. “Live Free or Die” was his motto. Over the years he endured health related handicaps that would have crushed a lesser man. Anyone who knew him saw he never did anything halfway. Whether he was making paper or brook fishing, he operated at full speed, with 100% intensity and a single-minded determination to be successful. He often referred to himself as being “hardest of the hard,” and anyone who truly knew him, knew that to be true.
His family will endure, despite the void he leaves behind, and are comforted by the knowledge he is at peace and reunited with his beloved son, daughter and parents.
Harding is survived by his daughters: Sarah Baker (Wayland) of Stony Creek, Rebekah McLean (Neil) of Vassalboro, Maine; grandchildren, Alex Reynolds, Madison Cardinale, Kolton, Jhustin, Jhaydann and Jhianna Baker, Nicolas Cardinale, Brady, Katherine and Christina McLean; Danikah, Coulter, Ashton and Shephard Boggs, sister Molly Baker of Eagle River, Alaska, great-grandson Elijah Chandler, half- brothers Mitchell Harding and Matthew Harding, a niece, and several cousins. He is also survived by many good and cherished friends.
He was predeceased by his son, Jesse, daughter Perri and his parents.
Graveside services will be held at 1pm Tuesday, July 10th. There are no scheduled visiting hours. Internment will be in the St. Joseph Cemetery in Fort Edward, New York, where he will be laid to rest between his son and his father.
The family suggests in lieu of flowers, donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital 332 N Lauderdale Memphis TN 38105 or a local SPCA.
Arrangements are with M. B. Kilmer Funeral Home 82 Broadway Fort Edward, NY 12828 For online condolences and to view Lauren’s Book of Memories, please visit www.kilmerfuneralhome.com.