Obituary – Harding, Jr., Paul Raymond

Paul Raymond Harding, Jr.

Class of 1934

Paul Harding
Paul Harding

Paul Raymond Harding, Jr.

April 10, 1916 – July 5, 2002

Paul was born April 10, 1916, in Perry, OK. He was the son of Ellen Marie Kite & Paul Raymond Harding Sr.

He enjoyed playing golf. He won the Perry Golf and Country Club Championship in 1933 and took second place in the Cherokee Strip Open Golf Championship in 1935.

He graduated from Perry High School in 1934. He obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1939 from Central State College in Edmond, OK. He obtained a Master of Science Degree in 1941 from Oklahoma agricultural and mechanical College in Stillwater. His major was Plant Pathology. He taught for one school term (9 months) in the Okmulgee High School and Junior College in Okmulgee, Oklahoma.

During WWII, Paul served at Schott Field, Illinois, in the U.S. Army Air Force radio schools (radio Fundamentals and Army Airways Communications System) as Radio Mechanics Instructor for four years, viz., one year as a civilian, then three years of active duty (1943-1946). After WWII ended, he was separated with an Honorable Discharge from the 3505th Army Air Force Base Unit.

After his discharge from the military, Paul taught for one year in the biology Dept. of Quincy College in Quincy, IL, then one year in the Biology Dept. of Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, OH. Next he attended the university of Michigan (1949-1952) in Ann Arbor in pursuit of a Ph.D. degree. He served part-time as a Teaching Fellow in the Dept. of Botany and Mycology while working on the Ph.D. degree. The Ph.D. degree (Doctor of Philosophy) was conferred in 1953 at the annual meeting of the University of Michigan Board of Regents. His field specialization was mycology. Dr. Harding was teaching at that time as Associate Professor in the Dept. of biology at Hendrix College in Conway, AR.

On August 21, 1954, he married Mary Lou Presley, a nurse employed in the Conway Memorial Hospital, after a six week courtship.

Dr. Harding and his wife Mary Lou moved to Pomona, CA., in 1955 where he had engaged a research position as Experimental Mycologist with the U.S.D.A. Agricultural marketing Service. Meanwhile, the marriage of Paul and Mary yielded one offspring, a son, Gordon Presley Harding, born January 29, 1958, whom is now employed as a microbiologist at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, CA.

Dr. Harding served 4 years with the U.S.D.A. in Pomona, CA., working on market diseases, then 22 years with Sunkist Growers, Inc., as Plant pathologist in the Sunkist Field Laboratory, in Ontario, CA., working on diseases of citrus.

Dr. Paul R. Harding retired from Sunkist Growers, Inc., in 1981 and has done forensic work intermittently for Impact General, Inc., of Orange, CA., and Diversified Agricultural Consultants of Upland, CA.

Dr. Harding served 25 years as Field Trip Chairman for the Los Angeles Mycological Society. He has received two Meritorious Service Awards: one from the Los Angeles Mycological Society, and one from the North American Mycological Association. Dr. Harding has published 22 papers. His name is on other papers, but not as senior author.

His interment is in Pomona Valley Memorial Park, Pomona, CA. Memorial care provided by Todd Memorial Chapel, Pomona, CA. Pastor Davis Harrell of White Avenue Baptist Church conducted the services.