Gerald “Gerry” G. Harding, 83, of Coffeyville, Kansas passed away on Monday, June 10, 2019.
Gerry was born on January 26, 1936 in Liberty, Kansas to Floyd and Ruth (Slaten) Harding. He grew up attending school in Coffeyville where he graduated from Field Kindley Memorial High School. He went on to achieve his AAS in Criminal Justice Administration at Labette County Community College.
Gerry was a proud U.S. Army Veteran of the Korean War and Vietnam War. He entered into active duty on May 28, 1959 in Kansas City, Missouri. That summer he began Signal School and completed it in September of 1959 earning the rank Pvt E-2. After two years of active service with the U.S. Army Signal Corps while stationed in Germany, he immediately reenlisted. After serving an additional 3 years with the Signal Corps and achieving the rank of SGT E-5 (P) he elected to transfer to United States Army Reserve on May 28, 1964 while stationed at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. After another year of service and a total of 6 years Gerry was honorably discharged.
On August 22, 1980 he married the love of his life, Deborah L. McEvoy in Fredonia, Kansas. Gerry and Debi traveled and lived in their travel trailer all over the United States. In addition to south east Kansas they lived in Baltimore, Maryland, Jonesborough, Arkansas, Springfield, Missouri, Chanute, Kansas, Muskogee, Oklahoma, Hardeeville, South Carolina, Atlanta, Georgia, Rock Springs, Wyoming, Portland, Oregon, Modesto, California, Little Rock, Arkansas and Bigelow, Arkansas. They even lived in Nicaragua for five years before returning to Coffeyville last year. He and Debi have also owned Great Danes since 1990 and have loved their dogs unconditionally.
He worked as a Law Enforcement Officer for the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department for five years; he served as Chief of Police in Fredonia, Kansas for five years; then found his calling as a foreman and contractor for industrial construction work for twenty years before retiring.
Gerry was a member of the Masonic Lodge where he held the Master Mason degree in Freemasonry; in addition to that, he went on to be a member of The Shriners. He was also a member of the American Legion Post 20 in Coffeyville. He enjoyed sailboats, fishing and most of all time he spent with his family and friends.
He leaves behind his wife and lifelong travel companion, Deborah Harding and their Great Danes of the home; daughters, Cindy Battaglear of Coffeyville Kansas, Monica Jutta Crocker and husband, Martin of Central Arkansas; daughter in laws, Kathy Freeman of Santa Cruz, California, Karen Harding of Freedom, California; ten grandchildren; several great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren; brother, Louis Collier and wife, Geraldine of Coffeyville, Kansas.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Floyd and Ruth Harding and by his sons, Rodney Gene Harding, Gerald “Gene” Harding II
Per Gerry’s wishes, cremation has taken place under the direction of David W. Barnes Funeral Home in Coffeyville.
A Graveside Memorial Service will be held on Monday, June 17, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at the Liberty Cemetery in Liberty, Kansas. Graveside Committal will be provided by Father Dan Lorimer of Holy Name Catholic Church in Coffeyville. Military Honors will be provided by VFW Post 1022 and American Legion Post 20.
The family suggests memorial can be made to the Coffeyville Rec Center; contributions can be left with the funeral home or mailed in care of David W. Barnes Funeral Home, 306 N Cline, Coffeyville, Kansas 67337.