John P. Harding, 77, Minot, died Tuesday, June 4, 2013, at his home after a two-year struggle with leukemia.
John was born July 21, 1935, at Orange, N.J., the son of Benjamin and Dorothy (Schwendener) Harding. He was raised and educated in New Jersey and graduated from high school in 1953. He attended Brigham Young University in Utah prior to his entry into the Army in 1954. He was stationed at Alaska from 1954-1956 and then worked in radio in Syracuse, N.Y., and Norfolk, Va., before returning to college at Montana State University in Missoula.
John was united in marriage to Shirley Cole on June 12, 1961, in Missoula. They made their home at Missoula, Portland, Ore., Denver, Colo., St Louis, Kansas City and Colorado Springs, Colo., while he worked as a disc jockey for radio stations in those communities.
In 1988, they moved to Buffalo, N.Y., and to Chicago in 1990, before settling in Minot in 1992, where Shirley took a position at Minot State University as a professor in psychology. John had worked several years in Minot for the KZPR FM Radio Station.
During his retirement, John loved being a professional volunteer, providing countless hours to Roosevelt Park Zoo and Meals-on-Wheels. He was named Roosevelt Park's volunteer of the year in 2011 and had a zebra named in his honor. He also began playing the trombone at the age of 64 and played in the Minot City Band the past several years. He did occasional volunteer work for the Minot Public Library delivering books to shut-ins.
John is survived by: his wife of 51 years, Shirley Cole-Harding, of Minot; and sister, Mary (John Meier) Harding, Bemidji, Minn.
Celebration of Life service: Friday, June 28, 2013, at 1 p.m. in the Roosevelt Park Zoo Education Building, Minot.
Visitation: Thursday, June 27, from 4 to 7 p.m. in Thomas Family Funeral Home, Minot.
Memorials: Memorials are preferred to the Minot Greater Zoological Society.
Those wishing to sign the online memorial register or share memories are invited to use the expressions of sympathy section at (www.thomasfamilyfuneralhome.com).