Mark S. Harding


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Presque Isle - Mark S. Harding left this worldly life on Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019, at a Caribou healthcare facility with his family by his side. Mark was born on September 15, 1955, the third of three sons of Floyd L. Harding and Beverly Carmichael Harding. A sister would be added two years later. When Mark was only 5 years old, his mother died from injuries suffered in an automobile collision that claimed the life of Mark's maternal grandmother, while Mark was in the car.

Following his graduation from Presque Isle High School in 1975, Mark joined the United States Navy. He was assigned to the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Midway, upon which he was injured while working on the flight deck, the most dangerous job in the world. His enlistment in the Navy was extended on multiple occasions for Mark's receipt of medical treatment for a severe and disabling injury to his foot.

Following his discharge from the Navy, Mark received an associates degree from the Northern Maine Vocational Technical Institute, which his father had been instrumental in establishing during Mark's lifetime, a fact about which both were genuinely proud. Mark continued his post-secondary education at Husson College, where he received his bachelor's degree in 1992.

In 1993, Mark had walked into the Veterans Administration Hospital in Jamaica Plains, Massachusetts, for surgical treatment. Mark never walked again thereafter. He was caused to be wheelchair-bound and to suffer significant neurological deficits requiring nursing home care for the remainder of his life, as a direct result of the medical care he had received at that VA hospital. Despite this misfortune, Mark was always cheerful and upbeat as he visited with fellow residents and renewed acquaintances or made new friends with the visitors of his fellow residents at the Presque Isle Nursing Home, which became Mark's home for twenty-five years.

Mark was always appreciative of the loving care, attention, and social interaction he received from the caregivers, medical staff, and administrators while a nursing home resident. He especially enjoyed his interaction with the nursing home's activities directors, Vickie Jackson and Marla Kovack, who arranged for a variety of activities at the nursing home, including the musical entertainment generously provided by musicians, such as the Morton family from Masardis, Wendell Hudson, the Good Ole Boys, the Gallaghers, and many others.

Much of Mark's joy in life was derived from his enduring friendships with his nursing home caregivers and, especially his private care providers, Amanda Lejeune and Harmony Ward Rowland, who joined with Mark in his adventures outside the nursing home and advocated for his every need to the very end. Mark also benefitted from the lifelong devotion of a special nephew, Judson Harding.

Mark was predeceased by his mother and father, his step-mother, Jean, and a step-sister Dolly Rae Donovan Gardner. He is survived by his brother Dwight, of Travelers Rest, South Carolina; his sisters Ronda "Blondie" Harding (James) Stone, of Scarborough, Maine, and Linda Harding Dunn (Don Cormier) of Hancock, Maine; his brother Alan (Mary); step-brothers Jeremiah Donovan and Daniel (Nancy) Donovan, and step-sister Dolores Donovan (Bruce) Roope, all of Presque Isle.

Donations in Mark's memory, to enlist musical, local talent to perform at area nursing homes, may be made to the Elks National Service Committee, c/o Gregory Daniels, Treasurer, 508 Main Street, Presque Isle, ME 04769.

A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, June 8, 2019, 3pm, Duncan Graves Funeral Home in Presque Isle. There will be a reception following services at the Elks Lodge; the interment will be private. Memories and condolences may be shared at
Published on June 3, 2019
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Jun 03, 2019