Obituary: James Harding, 79, of Ludington

October 11, 2023

James Harding

Obituary: James Harding, 79, of Ludington

James Perry Harding passed away peacefully at home Thursday, September 28, at 3:21am at the age of 79 after an eight-month battle with cancer.

He was born in Kilgore to Elmer Everett Hardin and Marie Bateman Hardin, October 15, 1943, and lived in Kilgore until his mom died when he was 3. He was then taken in by his dad’s sister Lillian Doree Harding Warren and Harry A. Warren whom he lived with primarily in Miami, Oklahoma and Grand Prairie, Texas, where he graduated from high school in 1961. Due to his foster dad’s job as a salesman, Jim lived in multiple states for six to eight weeks at a time throughout his childhood and teen years.

James enlisted in the US Air Force at the age of 18. He considered it an honor to serve his country in the National Security Agency where he was deployed to serve in Vietnam and Japan. He then re-enlisted and served in Vietnam a second time.

Jim married Rebecca “Becky” Roth December 2, 1973, in Austin, Texas. They were blessed to have had almost 50 years together.

He earned an associate degree in photography from Austin Community College and then went to camera repair school in Englewood, Colorado for a year prior to working as a plastics and fiberglass quality control technician. He retired from civil service for the Texas Workforce Commission in 1998 after more than 20 years where he held positions as a veteran’s rep, claims examiner and claims supervisor.

Music (singing in his high school choral, singing and playing folk music on his guitar in coffee shops in the 60s, leading songs for his congregation), theater and public speaking (both in high school and later), and photography were all a big part of Jim’s life. He also enjoyed being on a hot air balloon crew a couple of years while living in Austin.

After retirement Jim enjoyed traveling with Becky, acting in a number of plays and musicals with the Longview Community Theatre and ArtsView Children’s Theatre fundraisers, and volunteering for the American Red Cross. Throughout his life but especially in his later years he loved reading and studying his Bible and singing hymns daily.

Jim was a loving, gentle, kind, and generous man who loved his family and God. He had an ever-deepening relationship with his marvelous God Yehovah.

Jim is survived by his wife of 49 years, Rebecca “Becky” Roth Harding; daughter, Chelsea (Boz) Duffield of Ludington; son, Jeremy (Judy) Harding of Edmonds, Wash.; grandchildren Justice, Eve and Corban Duffield of Ludington, Noble Hendrix, and Koi Harding of Edmonds, Wash.; brother Roy (Ada) Hardin of Celina, Texas; sister-in-law, Rubye Gayle Hardin; and nieces and nephews.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents and foster parents, his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Calvin and Ruth Roth; his oldest sibling Mildred (James) Godwin; brothers, Elmer Everett Hardin, and Farrell J. Hardin.

A celebration of a life well-lived will be held on what would have been his 80th birthday, Sunday, October 15 at 3 p.m. Those wishing to honor Jim with your presence may go to

Words of comfort may be shared with the family at

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