Jim Harden,75, died from a stroke on January 20 at his home in the Adirondacks. He was a guy on the go. He was born on an Army Base in 1942 and grew up in Miami and the Everglades. The oldest of 5 brothers, he spent his youth fishing, snorkeling and boating out at the stilt house his father built in the flats of Biscayne Bay.
In 1965 he joined the army and went to Vietnam for three tours as an Airborne Ranger, Green Beret. As a LRRP, he and a small troop of 5 men were dropped on ropes from helicopters behind enemy lines for reconnaissance. He received 2 metals for valor and bravery under fire. For the rest of his life he faced any obstacle in the same courageous way.
He returned to the states and got an Engineering degree at Berkeley and then worked for IBM for many years. It was there he met Mercedes and they married in 1986. Told he was sterile from exposure to Agent Orange they were both shocked when they had a beautiful baby boy Benjamin in 1989. From then on he was totally focused on teaching his son everything he knew of life.. He started a Cub Scout troop and as Ben got older became a Boy Scout leader mentoring Ben to become an Eagle Scout . . He taught Ben how to draw when he was three using models of animals. He taught Ben’s high school buddies how to tie a tie.
He was an amazing man, able to build, invent or repair any item on this planet. His friends called him a true renaissance man. He had many hobbies: pilot of his small plane, dirt bike racing, riding his 5 horses, beekeeping. He owned every tool invented by man, if he couldn’t buy it, he would make it.
Jim and his family lived in Colorado Springs until 2015 when they moved to Northern New York to be close to family. Benjamin remains in Boulder where he works for the University as an architect.
Jim loved teaching at all levels and was happy to share his many hobbies with who ever was interested. He is survived by his wife and son. Contact: Harden, Effley Dam Rd, Croghan, NY 13327. A Memorial service will be held this summer at the family camp on the Beaver River.
Condolences may be made online at www.isenekerfuneralhome.com.