June 13, 1916 ~ November 8, 2008
Born in: Vass, NC,
Resided in: Asheville, NC
Mrs. Harding, age 92, of Asheville, NC died peacefully on November 8th at Givens Estates in Asheville, NC. Born June 13, 1916 in Vass, N.C., Trixie (as many knew her) was the daughter of the late Edgar Leslie and Sarah McLellan McNeill. She graduated from Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing and earned her B.S. Degree from Lees McCrae College. Mrs. Harding married the late Robert Henry Harding Jr. She raised four daughters whom she claimed were her "greatest achievements". The family moved to Belmont, N.C. in 1955 where she was a long time member of First Presbyterian Church. She worked tirelessly in the church until she retired to Asheville. She especially liked working on the Service Committee, responsible for beautifying the church throughout the year. She was very proud of her Scottish Presbyterian heritage and she received the Women of the Church 'Presbyterian Life Membership Award' in 2005. Mrs. Harding also had a gift for teaching young children and helped start the first kindergarten in Gaston County. She cherished her young students and in return, they adored her even as they had children of their own. She had the uncanny knack of making both young and old feel wonderful in her presence. All who knew her were inspired by her beauty, elegance, and grace both in good times and bad. She was a great friend to all, always spreading joy and kindness with her beautiful smile. We will all remember her infectious laugh which could brighten anyone's day. Mrs. Harding had many interests that kept her very active. She was a gifted and proud artist who loved to supply her family with her beautiful work. She was raised on a farm and was most happy working outside, lovingly, tending to all of nature. In her later years, her girls would have to call her in a night or she would continue to work in the dark. Pruning bushes and trees became her passion! Mrs. Harding was very proud that she was one of the very first dedicated 'walkers' in Belmont, encouraging others to follow in her path. By far her greatest joy in life was her family that loved her deeply. Her unfailing support and caring nature was a true blessing to all who knew her. Mrs. Harding is survived by her daughters, Donna Harding Norton and Grace Caroline Harding of Belmont, Cherie Harding Richie and husband Al of Asheville, and Elizabeth Harding Garland of Greensboro. In addition, Mrs. Harding is survived by seven grandchildren who were blessed to have 'Kiki' touch their lives for so long; Catherine Norton Upchurch and husband, Graves of Charlotte, Whitney Norton Jr. and wife Elizabeth of Cornelius, Cherie Norton McDonald and husband Matt of Charlotte, Lee Richie of Montana, Elizabeth Bowers and husband Jim of Asheville, and James Garland III of Belmont and Link Garland of Asheville. Also included in her family are ten great grandchildren, Graves Jr., Harding, Susannah, and McNeill Upchurch, Merritt, Mary Liza, and Charlotte McDonald of Charlotte, Whit Jr. and Davis Norton of Cornelius and Lillian Bowers of Asheville. Mrs. Harding is also survived by two brothers, Alex McNeill of Fountain Valley, California, Ernest McNeill of Port Charles, Florida and sister-in-law and dear friend, Ruth Harding Stowe of Belmont. She was predeceased by three sisters; Caro Allen of Concord, NC, Grace Higham of Florida, and Ruth Evans of Vass, NC. She also leaves behind many beloved nieces and nephews. The family would especially like to thank the caregivers at the Health Care facility at Givens Estates in Asheville for their warm, loving care and dedication to our Mother during her last few years. A celebration of her life and resurrection will be held on Wednesday, November 12 at 11:00am at First Presbyterian Church in Belmont, N.C. with the Rev. Samuel P. Warner and the Rev. Wilson Rhoton officiating. The family will receive friends from 6:30pm until 8:00pm in the church parlor on Tuesday, November 11 and also one hour before the Memorial Service. In lieu of flowers, memorials should be sent to Givens Estates, 2360 Sweeten Creek Road, Asheville, NC 28803 or to First Presbyterian Church of Belmont, P.O. Box 1, Belmont N.C. 28012.