George Byron Harding 1951-2005

by David Shannon

Byron Harding was always smiling, His cheerful disposition came from a selfless life. As family and friends gathered at the funeral home the comments of his selfless deeds were more frequent than one could imagine. Everyone seemed to be a recipient of his concern for others and wanted to tell about it.

Byron was born in Nashville. As a youth, �Byron was a good boy� explains his mother Foy Dell. He was preceded in death by his father Glenn. Byron attended Donelson Elementary and Howard High School. While working for the Methodist Publishing House he benefited more than just a salary. One November a young lady named Judy was hired to work a machine which was near his press. At break times she would find a 7-Up and bag of chips waiting for her. By December they were dating. In April they would have celebrated 27 years of marriage. Byron’s thoughtful gestures were not just a part of dating romance. This is the same way he lived his life. He constantly cared for Judy. As her health grew weaker in recent years he began doing almost all the domestic duties and constantly checked on her.

Byron�s brothers loved him explaining he was �the one most like daddy.� Neighbor children loved visiting Byron and Judy�s home. Byron was loved by all. Jim Allen, a past neighbor of the Harding�s, spoke at the service. He told of Byron walking across the yard to meet him when he moved in and described numerous examples of Byron and Judy’s kindness as neighbors.

The greatest act of selflessness was demonstrated last year. Byron came to the office at the building wanting to talk about his soul. On June 25, 2004 he was baptized into Christ. The Bible studies Byron, Judy, and I have had together were a highlight of the last half of 2004. His love for the Lord, his interest in the Bible, and his pleasant spirit made every meeting a wonderful experience.

Byron courageously battled cancer in the same way he lived. He smiled, never complained and constantly expressed concern for others. A child of God has left our side to share heaven by God’s side. He was loved. He will be greatly missed.