The patriarch of the extended Harding family has passed away.
Dr. George T. Harding IV, 93, died early Saturday morning at his home in Loma Linda, CA. Dr. Harding’s passing certainly creates a huge void in the Harding family. It also makes us at the Harding Sites feel a little less whole.
Dr. Harding was a grand-nephew of President Warren G. Harding, and a grandson of the president’s brother. The doctor’s accomplishments were many: U.S. Army veteran, noted psychiatrist, medical director of Harding Hospital in Worthington, and interim chair of Loma Linda University’s Psychiatric Department, to name a very few. His grandfather, Dr. George T. Harding Jr., founded Harding Hospital in 1916.
To us at the Harding Sites, Dr. Harding was a constant pillar of moral support. He applauded our steps forward in expanding the Harding Sites and always asked how he could help. He kept us on our toes with his seemingly endless list of ideas, but never tried to dictate how we told his family’s history. He was a born storyteller, who could mesmerize with tales of his childhood, interactions with his grandfather and
anecdotes his father told him about President Harding. One of our favorite stories, however, will always be his low-key recounting of how he met rock musician Eric Clapton. Dr. Harding overlooked Clapton’s fame. Instead, he was drawn to the loss Clapton had suffered in his personal life. That natural empathy and the ability to peel away the outer layers to reveal a person’s inner being weren’t just tricks of the trade in the psychiatry business. Those were the essence of Dr. Harding’s gifts to his fellow man.
We at the site thoroughly enjoyed and respected Dr. Harding. We will miss him. May he rest in peace.