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Paul George Richard Harding

February 28, 1934 - September 28, 2020

Born Feb. 28, 1934, Died Sept. 28, 2020

Husband, father, friend, mentor, doctor, researcher, farmer, ecologist, musician

Paul led a principled, positive and productive life with a focus on giving, community and professional contributions. He kept true to his humble, rural roots of Packholme in London and thrived with Mary at Boview Farm. Paul transformed Boview into a passion project of conservation, as he became a vanguard of sustainability.

Paul lived a life of vision, commitment, and action. He is considered as the father of neonatal research in Canada. His particular forte was blending research with clinical practice. He mentored medical students at Western University and advanced maternal health care across Canada.

His service and empathy to others was demonstrated for decades at Dundas Street Centre United Church. He contributed to sacred and community music programs, volunteered at various outreach events and supported individuals transitioning positively back into society.

Loved and respected by all, a foundational limb has fallen from the family tree. Whether skiing or sailing, discussing science or leading the charge on haying days, Paul was fully committed. He is pre-deceased by his father, Clare, and mother, Marjorie. He is survived by Mary, his loving wife for over sixty years, sister Lorraine Loewen, brother John (Carol), four children and their partners: Martha, David (Karen), John (Beverly), Tom (Kara), special cousins Lorna (Ernie) Koehler and Joanne Pack, and eight grandchildren.

The family are deeply grateful for the exceptional care provided by Paul’s support system at Strathmere Lodge, Strathroy, Ontario. A Celebration of Life is planned for the summer of 2021.

To contribute to Paul’s legacy, please consider a donation to the Thames Talbot Land Trust ( or plant a tree in his honour.

Cremation and a private family gathering has taken place at Northview Funeral Chapel.

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Mary, Martha and the whole family, I am so sorry for your loss. Paul will be missed. I will never forget when he came and talked with me during the different meetings. My deepest sympathies and may his soul rest in peace. Ousseynou Sarr.

~ Ousseynou Sarr

Our deepest condolences to the Harding family. Dr. Harding was much loved and respected!

~ Children's Health Foundation

(Donated to Thames Talbot Land Trust)

~ Kathy Johnson

Our sincerest sympathy...Paul was a great human being.

~ donald montemurro

To Martha & Family: We are thinking of you at this difficult time. Marney & Bill

~ Marney & Bill Warder

(Donated to Thames Talbot Land Trust)

~ Anne Pincombe

(Donated to Thames Talbot Land Trust)

~ Marj Johnson

My deepest sympathies to your family. I am just now hearing of Dr. Harding’s passing. He was my obstetrician and delivered both of my girls. He was a wonderful man and an amazing doctor!

~ Janice Dionne

My sincere condolences to all the family on your great loss of Paul He was a shining example of a gentleman physician. I enjoyed working with him on many occasions including education and the Ethics Board Sincerely Dr Alex Hammond

~ Dr Alex Hammond

So sorry to hear of Paul’s passing. A great loss Lynne(Dunham) Stott

~ Lynne Dunham Stott

Dr. Harding holds a special place in my heart. Without his knowledge and expertise in dealing with high risk pregnancies in the early1970s, I would not have my 2 daughters today. I knew Dr. Harding as a genuine and principled professional who always demonstrated kindness, care and understanding. I am truly sorry for your loss. May his memory live on in your hearts. Elizabeth Elefteros (Faclaris)


Dear Mary, my condolences and deepest sympathies to you and the family on Paul's death. I first met Paul in 1969 when he was my Physiology tutor in first year Medicine at Western. He was a wise and gifted teacher who was so very kind in educating young students who knew pretty much nothing! That year, he made it possible for me to witness and participate in the miracle of birth when I was an an elective student with him and later in my student career, I benefited from his teaching of Obstetrics and Gynaecology when I did my clerkship at St. Joseph's Hospital. In 1974, Paul delivered my first-born child--Adam, and as a somewhat nervous about to be first parent, enumerating in my mind all the possible complications that can occur during labour and delivery, it was so very calming to know that my wife and I were in the hands of an experienced and immensely capable obstetrician who was also a mentor. Later, in 1981 when I joined the staff of St. Joseph's Hospital, Paul was someone to whom I could turn to seek advice with regard to research, and teaching and he was a wonderful role model for me and for other junior colleagues as we began our academic careers. Paul touched many lives as a caring physician, his reach has extended literally around the world through the many students that he has trained, who have then gone on to influence and train others, and his leadership in the academic world at what is now the Schulich Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry is without peer. This is a wonderful legacy of which you and the family can all be proud and for which we, his friends and colleagues, will always be grateful. Lux perpetua requies eius.

~ Paul Cooper

I wish convey my most respectful condolences to Mary and all the family members of Paul Harding whom I came to know closely in 1983 when he was the associate Dean of our faculty and I was recruited as the chair of the Anatomy Department. He soon became a close friend because of our shared research interests in pregnancy. He was instrumental in putting the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology on the world-map as a research-intensive department not only by his own pioneering research, but also by recruiting out-standing basic scientists in his department cross-appointed with basic science departments. His endearing personality and reverent attitude to other colleagues made him stand out in our faculty. After his retirement, I loved to meet him at the annual reception held by the President of UWO at the Gibbons lodge, and was often delighted to talk about old days. His name will go down the history of our faculty. May his soul rest in peace! Peeyush Lala

~ Peeyush Lala

I first met Dr. Harding in Jan. 1980 when pregnant with my first child. Premature at 3.5 lbs, Dr. Harding was the best physician to guide me.He was kind, gentle, so knowledgeable and so compassionate! My next pregnancy in 1982 tested me and my type one diabetes. Full term my son was 9 lbs 11oz! The very next morning I woke and immediately had low blood sugar and passed out and hit the floor. The first face I remember seeing was Dr. Harding. I was hurting, crying, and conscience of my black eye. He said some very kind words aleving me of all of my worries. God bless you Dr. Harding for all you have done for all of your patients.

~ Virginia Derrough

We just learned today of Paul's passing and wish to send our condolences to Mary and to Martha, Dave, John, Tom and their partners. Undoubtedly Paul was brilliant but when I think back to the time I spent with him I remember most a soft spoken gentleman with a keen sense of humour. Just a real class act.. Certainly one who left the world a better place because of his efforts. A life well lived.

~ Jim & Debbie Gibson

Linda and I send our heartfelt condolences to the family of Paul Harding, a true gentleman, a compassionate practitioner, a respected scholar, a family man of faith, and a friend and co-worker for over 35 years. I first met Paul when I joined the Department of Physiology at Western in the summer of 1973. We (including my wife, Linda) met Paul in a more personal way in the fall of that year when we found out we were expecting our second child. Over the next 6 months we got to know Paul quite well as a physician, at the same time I was getting to know him as a fellow faculty member. Paul provided excellent care throughout the pregnancy, but especially during the last month, which was quite difficult. When the big day arrived on March 2, 1974, Paul was in the process of delivering our baby, the day after his having been appointed Chief of OBGYN. It turned out to be a memorable delivery for everyone who was present, as a second, unexpected baby was pulled from the womb! The parents were stunned, and Paul was getting a ribbing from the nurses about the new Chief of OBGY. who delivered unexpected twins. From that time on, there was a kind of bond between Paul and me, as he always asked how Linda and the twins were. Many others have shared the important ways that Paul contributed to his medical profession, his various university positions, his national and international collaborations, and his love for the land. His friendly nature and joyful spirit were part of who he was. Our lives together have been better for knowing him. We look forward to celebrating his life next summer.

~ Bob Kline

Dear Mary and the Harding Family: Winsome and I, and our daughters, Kay and Thida, would like to express our deepest condolences to all of you on the passing of Paul. Paul and Mary, together with Graham and Mary Chance were like parents to us when we first arrived in London from UK in 1980. Under Paul and Graham's professional guidance and love from all of the Harding and Chance families, we integrated into the medical community at Western, SJHC, LHSC and London, and Canada, Our family owe much to Paul and Mary, and Graham and Mary for all you have done for us in many different ways. We share the lost with the Harding family. Our deepest condolences. Victor, Winsome, Kay and Thida Han

~ Victor Han

Mary and family: Sharon and I pass along our deepest condolences following Paul’s passing. We remember Paul as a man of incredibly broad interests and talents, a great depth of knowledge, yet a very gentle manner. He was an amazing role model for a generation of trainees in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Western. I still cherish the plastic Wayne Gretzky lunch pail that Paul gave me at the wonderful party you hosted when we were leaving London bound for Edmonton in 1986. His words were, “You won’t have time to go to lunch anymore.” As usual, he was right. Paul’s huge impact on his students improved health care wherever they practised. His was a life very well lived, personally and professionally. May he Rest In Peace.

~ Peter and Sharon Mitchell

Mary and family...passing on our deepest condolences on Paul's passing. Many wonderful memories of our times at Packholme when we were growing up. RIP Paul......Love Kathee {Fortnum) and family...

~ Kathee Johnson-Bolt

Mary, Martha and the rest of the Harding family , Barbara and I would like to extend our most sincere sympathy on the passing of Paul. He will always be remembered in our hearts as he played such an instrumental role in guiding and helping to shape my professional career and our personal lives. We will always hold him with special regard. Renato and Barbara Natale

~ Renato Natale

My dear Mary and family, I am so sorry to hear about Paul's passing. I first met Paul at a meeting in Mont Tremblant soon after John and I arrived in Montreal from England. Such a warm and friendly man. When we later moved to London, you and your family became very special friends. Thank you and sincere condolences.

~ Jan Challis

With deepest condolences to the family of Dr. Harding. He was my obstetrician in 1990 and 1994 and I remember him for how compassionate and empathetic he was with me during both pregnancies while being plagued with hyperemesis. Not once did he downplay how I felt. He was always concerned with how I was doing and supporting me through with great encouragement. For me, he was truly a blessing at a joyous yet difficult time.

~ Brenda Miedema

Our sincere sympathy to the family of Paul. Cousins Lorna and Ernie (friends of ours from church) Spoke lovingly and highly of Paul. Keeping you all in our thoughts., Rest in Peace Paul. Ed and Carol VanDeWynckel

~ Ed and Carol VanDeWynckel

My sincere condolences to Mary and the rest of the family. Take comfort that so many people deeply care. Paul Steacy.

~ Paul Steacy

One of the best things about life is that if you are fortunate you might come across someone like Dr. Paul Harding. If you do, it will be rare, and you will be a very privileged person indeed. Dr. Paul Harding passed away this week. I would like everyone to know that Dr. Harding served our Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology as an extraordinary leader and colleague for nearly 60 years. Dr. Harding defined the role of clinician scientist and mentor, so much so, that in his later years he became like a father to everyone in the department. He sure felt like one to me and his passing has left a great hole in our hearts and department. There were very good reasons for naming our annual departmental research day after Dr. Harding. I don’t believe our department has had a stronger champion for research nor stronger researcher than he. Dr. Harding specialized in fostering opportunities, whether you were a young Ob/GYN or Researcher. Every time you met him, he would pick up on your last conversation and in his own quiet effective way find how things were going for you, or what the next steps in a research project might be. He kept an eye on everyone in the department and everyone benefited from his guidance. He never put the spotlight on himself, but the truth be told he always was the star in everything he did, and he led by example. He had a wonderful life with Mary, the kids and grandkids, but he is going to be missed by everyone who knew him, and I am going to be sad about his passing for quite awhile. Thank you, Dr. Harding.

~ Andrew Watson

I have many fond memories of time shared at Packholme with Paul, Aunt Marge, Uncle Russ, Grandpa Pack, Lorna and Joanne. Marilyn and I send love and condolences to Mary and the Harding family. Bill and Marilyn Meaden

~ Bill Meaden

Paul was a truly lovely man. He was for me a teacher, a colleague, my wife's trusted caregiver, and a friend. I will remember the very special person that he was whenever I look back on those golden years at St. Joe's. John Thompson

~ John M Thompson

HEALING HANDS BOTH INDOORS AND OUTDOORS A gentleman, scholar, farmer and outdoorsman...Uncle Paul always had time for a chat and was genuinely interested in whatever I had to say. It's a sad day for our collective family but wonderful memories to reflect upon. Rest in peace Uncle Paul, you will be missed. Lots of love and warm hugs to Aunt Mary, Martha, David, John and Tom and extended family. xo Peter Whaley

~ Peter Whaley

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