Richard Harden, age 87, of Grand Haven and formerly of Three Rivers, passed away on – of all days, TAX day (not his favorite day) – on Wednesday, April 15, 2020.
He was born on January 11, 1933, in Three Rivers, Michigan, to B. Raymond and Winifred (Freese) Harden. On June 14, 1974, he married Carol Macey. Richard graduated from Three Rivers High School in 1951 with a focus in Industrial Arts. This served him well as a tool and die maker.
He started his career as an apprentice at Peterson Spring – a manufacturing company. Soon after, he volunteered for service in the Army. He completed basic training at Fort Bliss, Texas, and was deployed to Korea. Thankfully, the Korean Armistice was signed shortly after his enlisting and he returned home in 1955. Upon his return to civilian life, he worked at various places, including Continental Can Company. He eventually returned to Peterson Spring. He quickly proved to be a company asset and was sent to Mexico to assist in opening a new plant. He lived in Mexico for 18 months. Returning from Mexico, he was made plant manager of Spring Tools Company, in Schoolcraft, Michigan. After many years and gained experience, it was time for him to branch out. He partnered with James King and they founded X- L Machine Co., Inc. in 1976. He loved building this company and all whom worked there. Upon his retirement, he learned he was not quite ready for true retirement and therefore, River City Plastics became his new focus.
Dick had many hobbies and interests. Pretty much anything with a motor turned his crank. Favorites included riding his motorcycle, restoring the Studebaker (his first new car), snowmobiling, boating, and fishing on Lake Michigan and Fisher Lake. He also enjoyed woodworking, R/C models, and traveling.
Spending time with family was his real joy. He especially enjoyed attending his children's and grandchildren's events.
Having earned his Eagle Scout, he had a love and respect for nature. He cared for animals and had many beloved pets, mostly dogs and one crazy possessive parrot. And, staying true to the Scout and Army fundamentals, he was forever prepared for almost any situation. He was resourceful and could be very adaptive. He seized opportunities – and was a great creator of new ones. He enjoyed his time with the guys at the coffee shop – chatting, laughing, and solving all the world's problems. People have often described Dick as being an easy person to talk to – that he could relate to people of all ages.
His dash was lived to the fullest. There was nothing left undone. He was an outstanding, fun loving, generous, and gentle man. He will be greatly missed.
He is survived by his wife, Carol; four children: Stephen (Anna) Harden of Three Rivers, MI, Deana (Patrick) Lamanuzzi of Bellevue, MI, Tracy (Gary) Szymanski, of Perrysburg, OH, and Jennifer (David) Robinson of Ludington, MI, and a foreign exchange daughter, Cristiana Bastos (Guilherme) Bruno; nine grandchildren: Adam Harden, Benjamin (Monica) Harden, Kristofer Harden and fiancé (Jordan Yancey), Rachel (John) DuShaw, Brittany Lamanuzzi, Sam, and Tyler Szymanski, and Nathan, and Katie Robinson, Pedro, Vitor, Andre, Livia, and Maria Bastos Bruno; three great-grandchildren: Raigan, Jonah, and Fletcher Harden; sisters-in-law, Joanie (Gene) Dunnington, and Jeanie (Dave) Sluder; many nieces, nephews, along with special friends: Ken and Linda Tabbert, and John (Pete) Bonebright, a very special cousin Carol Frohriep. He was preceded in death by his parents and infant son, Corey.
Due to COVID-19 and social distancing, a memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions in memory of Richard may be given to The Lewy Body Dementia Association or North Ottawa Community Hospice. Please sign the family’s online guestbook at www.sytsemafh.com.