Patricia (Pat) Grace Harding joined her Lord in Heaven held by her loving and loyal husband Joseph in the early morning hours of Saturday, June 25, 2022.
A gathering of family and friends will be held 5-7 PM Thursday, June 30, 2022, at Pike Funeral and Cremation Services, The Boyd Chapel, 9191 Red Arrow Hwy, Bridgman. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10 AM Friday, July 1, 2022 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 220 Church Street, St. Joseph, MI 49085. Memorial contributions may be made to The Alex Mandarino Foundation, 3158 Estates Place North. St. Joseph, MI 49085, Readiness Center, 340 Catalpa Ave. Benton Harbor, MI 49022, or Mayo Clinic Cancer Research, PO Box 450, Albert Lea, MN 56007-0450. Online condolences accepted at www.PikeFH.com.
Pat was born to Vail and Shirley (Holden) Hanley on September 29, 1942, in St. Joseph, Michigan. Pat was the first of six children loved and cared for by Vail and Shirley: Kathy (Kathleen), Mary, Chris (Christine), Beth (Elizabeth), and Mark. The family thrived living in St. Joseph, growing up with a large extended family that surrounded them for many years.
Pat grew up spending summers at Three Mile Lake in Paw Paw, Michigan. It was at these cottages that Pat found a love for fishing and playing cards, hobbies that she continued to enjoy for a lifetime. When not in southwest Michigan, Pat visited Chicago every summer, attending family reunions with relatives from Chicago and visiting Riverview Amusement Park.
Pat was a proud graduate of St. Joseph Catholic High School. Pat would talk often about her Catholic education and her pride of being a “Ponies.” After graduating, Pat attended Mercy School of Nursing in Jackson, Michigan. She was awarded her Board of Nursing license in April 1964. She returned to southwest Michigan and began an unbelievably lengthy career at Memorial Hospital in St. Joseph. Pat found her passion while working in the Labor and Delivery Department where she spent the bulk of her 50 plus years of nursing, becoming the manager of the entire department. In those years, Pat was bedside for the births of many of her grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, and new additions to families of friends.
Following a shift at the hospital Pat and friends gathered at a local bar, Chickhaven for a drink. It was there that she met Joseph Harding, a local entrepreneur. That chance encounter led them to marry on Saturday, May 31 st , 1969. Over the next 53 years of love and devotion, they raised a blended family including three children from Joe’s first marriage along with three children from their marriage.
After long careers, Joe and Pat bought and retired to their dream home at Ocean Resorts on North Hutchinson Island, Florida. It was at “OR” that they met lifelong friends and welcomed family visitors for more than 25 years. Pat was active with association committees, exercise groups, and loved Wednesday nights playing bingo at the Elks Lodge #1520 in Fort Piece, Florida where she became a proud “Elkette.”
Pat was a true renaissance woman. She loved traveling, cooking, crafting, reading, and was a talented musician. Her true love was family. From her childhood, Pat loved her time with her parents, siblings, cousins, grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, and then with Joe and their family. Pat relished frequent visits from family members and friends who would stop over to share a story, a laugh, a tear.
Pat is survived and dearly missed by her family: husband: Joe Harding; children: Allen Harding, Kim Harding, Melissa Gibson, Angela (John) Martin, Kerri (Doug) deBest, Vail (Jackie) Harding; 11 grandchildren Mariko (Matt) Moersch, Lexi Harding, Stephanie Poplawski, Joely Gibson, Nathan Poll, Lily Martin, Madelynn deBest, Grace deBest, Connor Harding, and Cameron Harding: two great granddaughters Sierra and Sinceria and two great grandsons, Milo and Wesley; four sisters, Kathy Teunis, Mary Shine, Chris (Pat) Phelan, and Beth (Jim) Mandarino; one brother, Mark (Margaret) and many nieces and nephews.