On March 7, 2023, our sweet Dad passed away peacefully, at his home in Bountiful, Utah at the age of 95. His faith in the Savior, his love for his family, and his desire to serve were evident in the valiant way he endured to the end.
Reed was born February 5, 1928 in Ogden, Utah to Ethel Luella Van Wagenen and Cleon Alfred Harding. He was born into a busy family, the 7th of 8 children. Reed was raised in Salt Lake City during the Great Depression but had the freedom to roam the foothills above the city where he climbed mountains, learned to ski, rode horses, and caught lizards to feed the monkeys at the Zoo. He helped his family at the “farm” (a vacant lot they rented and grew vegetables on), played football with the neighborhood crew, dug underground “hid-away” huts with fireplaces and held neighborhood meetings there with his friends. Reed also helped the family raise rabbits, chickens, pigeons and sometimes even ducks. Reed learned to work hard from an early age, a trait that served him well all his life. He started working for the school district during Jr. High while attending Irving Jr. High. He also attended Hawthorne Elementary, where his wife Joyce would later teach 3rd grade, South High School, and gained a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Utah. He studied under some of Utah’s greatest artists including Arnold Friberg, LeConte Stewart, and Avard Fairbanks. During High School and College, Reed worked at R. W. Marsh, a silk screen printing shop.
While in high School, he joined the ROTC and later became part of the Air Force Reserve. When his unit was activated, he was stationed at Hill Air Force Base in Layton. During one of his weekends home, he met Norma Joyce Bateman and they started dating. They were married on April 7, 1952 in the Salt Lake Temple. Reed was deployed at the end of April just a few weeks after getting married. He was stationed at Mc Andrews Air Force Base in Argentia, Newfoundland where he served as a draftsman and technical illustrator.
After Reed’s return from the military, he and Joyce settled in Bountiful where their three children, Jan, Patti and John were raised. Reed worked for the building company, Daley and Prows, Sperry Utah Engineering Lab, and then Richard Prows Inc. a development company, later renamed Prowswood Construction. Reed's high character and competence enabled him to not only make great contributions in architecture, design, and construction, but also to be a trusted management leader, completing his career as President of Prowswood Construction. He helped design and build the first condominiums in Utah and the Western United States.
Reed served as president of the Murray City Chamber of Commerce as well. Reed was always very involved in both community and church events and loved serving others. He designed and built floats for the 24th of July, created large event card shows for the Fourth of July celebrations at Rice Eccles Stadium, created beautiful art, including a life size painting of Christ, started amazing traditions like the family’s annual boating trip to Jackson Lake and the Tetons, a now 60 year tradition. He taught geography lessons while driving his kids up the canyon to go skiing, built anything his wife and children wanted or needed and was an advocate for making a place better than you found it. Reed had a sense of adventure and helped guide an epic river trip of young men down the Colorado River as Lake Powell was just beginning.
After their children were married, they had the great blessing of serving seven missions: New Zealand Wellington, British Columbia Vancouver, Joseph Smith Birthplace Vermont, Costa Mesa California, Salt Lake Airport, Temple Square, Joseph Smith Memorial Building Salt Lake City, and at the Bountiful Temple.
Reed was happiest when serving others and being surrounded by his family. We will miss his knowledge of everything, his creativity, his sense of adventure, his sense of humor, his love of nature, love of family, but most of all his guiding example and testimony of Jesus Christ.
He is survived by his three children: Jan (Steve) Young, Patti (Blake) Mathews, and John (Debbie) Harding, 14 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren, 1 ½ great great grandchildren, and his brother Bob (Mercedes). He is preceded in death by eternal companion Joyce, his parents and 6 siblings.
The family would like to thank the special angels who helped Dad: Nancy and Kristi, our Hospice caregivers--especially his nurse (Jen), and our dear 24 hour caregivers (Kinania, Toakesa, and Alisi Namu Pau’u Fangupo) who became our family and love Dad as we do.
Funeral services will be held March 17, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. with a visitation from 9:45-10:45 a.m. located at the Woodland Hills Ward Building, 640 S. 750 E., Bountiful, Utah. A viewing will be held on Thursday, March 16, 2023, from 6:30-8:00 p.m., at Russon Mortuary, 295 N. Main Street, Bountiful, Utah.
Services will be streamed live on the Russon Mortuary & Crematory Facebook page and on this obituary page. The live stream will begin about 10-15 minutes prior to the service and will be posted below.