Local community servant mourned by community members | CraigDailyPress.com

Local community servant mourned by community members

Lauren Blair







— A dedicated community servant and U.S. Army veteran, 70-year-old Craig local Jeff Harding will be missed dearly by the many Craig organizations he served. He passed away suddenly due to a heart attack March 14.

"He volunteered for veterans, took them on runs to the Grand Junction VA hospital, drove the little VA bus, took seniors to the Catholic Church for (soup kitchen) dinner on Thursdays and also took them to the food bank," said Karen Brown, manager of the Community Budget Center. "He was certainly a very important part of our community."

Harding did data entry for the Budget Center for about the past seven years, volunteering many of his own hours above and beyond the 16 hours per week he was scheduled for.

"He had a very funny sense of humor and he was very meticulous with his work, which is good because he kept us all accountable," Brown said.

Harding also worked part-time at TLC Carpets in Craig.

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A Craig resident of nearly 50 years, Harding moved to the area to be close to his brother following his military service. He served in the Army, stationed mainly in Germany from 1967 to 1970, according to his obituary.

A trained pilot, he served as a search and rescue pilot for many years, often utilizing his personal plane.

In his more recent capacities, the man — described by those who knew him as smart, quiet and private — earned the respect of those who worked with him.

"I liked Jeff. He was always pretty much happy go lucky, always seemed in good spirits," said Moffat County Veterans Service Officer Ed Wilkinson. "He was a good man for volunteering and for doing all the things he did."

No spring chicken himself by his own acknowledgement, Wilkinson even had Harding in mind as his ideal replacement should Wilkinson become unable to continue in his capacity, he said.

"He was very selfless and would do things for people without recognition," Brown said.

A memorial service will be held in honor of Harding at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Veteran's Hall in Craig.

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1795 or lblair@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @LaurenBNews.