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David E. Harden

Born: Mon., Sep. 12, 1927
Died: Fri., Sep. 7, 2018


Memorial Service

4:00 PM Sat., Sep. 15, 2018
Location: McConnellsville Community Church


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     David E. Harden, former Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Harden Furniture and a Life Trustee of Hamilton College, died on Sept. 7 after a short illness. He was 90.
     Mr. Harden was born September 12, 1927, in McConnellsville, N.Y., to Harry A. Harden and Gladys Link Harden. He graduated from Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., in 1948, with a degree in economics and history.
     After college, Mr. Harden went to work for Harden Furniture, the family company founded in 1844. After his father died suddenly in 1950, Mr. Harden, just 23 years old, became treasurer of the company while his uncle Charles Harden served as president. In 1955, Mr. Harden became president of Harden Furniture and remained in that position until his retirement in 1992.
     During his tenure, Harden Furniture became known as a leading supplier of high-quality traditional designs. He understood product design and marketing, and knew the value of relationships in selling home furnishings products. Mr. Harden also understood the value of craftsmanship and took great pride in the McConnellsville team.
In 1991, Mr. Harden received the Corning Award for Excellence, the most prestigious award presented by The Business Council of New York State, of which he was a past chairman. He was also a past chairman of the National Association of Furniture Manufacturers and a former president of the New York State Golf Association. In addition, Mr. Harden served on numerous corporate boards, among them Oneida Ltd., Merchants National Bank and Trust Co., Utica Mutual Insurance Co., and The New York Design Center.
     Deeply involved with Hamilton College, he was first elected to the College’s Board as an Alumni Trustee in 1977, becoming a Charter Trustee in 1981 and a Life Trustee in 1995.
     Mr. Harden wed Ann Miller of New York City in 1955, and they were happily married until her death in 1991. The two greatly enjoyed traveling during their 36 years of marriage. In all, Ann Harden contributed greatly to her husband’s happiness as well as his success.
     Soon after her death, he established the Ann Miller Harden Prize Scholarship, a painting scholarship at Hamilton College in memory of his wife, who had been a talented artist.
     Mr. Harden was a lifelong golfer who belonged to many golf clubs over the years, including the McConnellsville Golf Club, the Hyannisport Club, the Onondaga Golf & Country Club, and the Lost Tree Club. He especially enjoyed playing with his wife, Ann.
     Mr. Harden is survived by his sister, Ann Harden Babcock of McConnellsville, N.Y.; two children, Gregory Harden of McConnellsville, N.Y., who is married to Lorie Harden, and Tracey Harden of New York City, who is married to Michael Neill; and five grandchildren: Alexandra Harden, Braden Harden, who is married to Kendra Harden, Maxwell Harden, Blair Harden Neill, and Ross Harden Neill.
     A memorial service will be held for Mr. Harden Saturday, Sept. 15 at 4 p.m. at McConnellsville Community Church, Main St., McConnellsville, N.Y. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the McConnellsville Community Church. You may view obituary and send a message of condolence online at www.larobardierefuneralhome.com

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Condolence Booklet

Jeff Glass & Helen Kelley
   Posted Sun September 09, 2018
Dear Greg, Lorie & Family,
Sending heartfelt condolences to you all during this time of loss.
Your Dad lived an incredible life of focusing on Family, Community, Education and Furniture. We have you all in our prayers during difficult time.
Best,
Jeff ( Glass ) Helen, Rob & Sarah-Kate

doug brackett
   Posted Mon September 10, 2018
Greg, I was saddened to learn of Dave's passing. He was a great gentleman and I was fortunate to know him for a little while prior to his retirement. I miss seeing you and your wonderful products at the market.
May God bless your family and give you the peace and comfort you need at this time.

Doug Brackett

Doug Stone
   Posted Mon September 10, 2018
It is sad to say goodbye to Dave Harden. Dave was my father's (Garrett "Bill" Stone), best friend growing up in McConnellsville. The Stone family grew up on a farm on nearby Yager Road. The farm house burned down back in 1945 is no longer there. My own home as well as my parents are both full of Harden Furniture. Every time I sit in a Harden chair I think about their friendship. During my childhood I listened to countless stories about Dave Harden and my father, Harden Furniture and the two of them fishing from the damn. Then there were the stories about the two of them going to grade school during the snow storms. We last stopped to visit with Dave at his house a couple of years ago. It was time well spent for my father and aunts with all of them remenancing about the past.

We lost a good one.

Doug Stone

BILL Fortson and JOHN CLEMENTS
   Posted Mon September 10, 2018
Dear Greg and Family: We are so sorry to learn of your fathers death. We send you our thoughts and prayers. Peace be with you our friend.

Joel Plumley
   Posted Wed September 19, 2018
I am very sorry to learn of the passing of Dave, and the family has my deepest sympathy.

Dave was an old-school gentleman, dignified, humble and kind to all. His loss is one of too many of our "Camden family" I have witnessed in recent years, and it affects us all in ways we may not at first fully grasp.

Take a moment to read "For Whom The Bell Tolls" by John Donne, and think of Dave.

L. Bruce Erickson
   Posted Thu September 20, 2018
We join you all in your sorrow brought on by Dave's passing. Your family and community has lost a great leader. Our family and the entire furniture industry shares your loss.

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