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AIS: Larry Harder obituary

  • Subject: AIS: Larry Harder obituary
  • From: Arnold Koekkoek <koekkoek@mtcnet.net>
  • Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2001 14:22:59 -0500

    I'm not sure what the proper heading for this might be, so I chose AIS, in which Larry was so active.  Many of you didn't know him or even about him, so you may want to delete right now.  This a pretty long message, but a number of people have asked for it so here it is.  I have tried to reproduce the text exactly as it appeared in Sioux City Journal of Sept. 12, 2001: no editing on my part.  It might have been even longer, as there is no mention of Larry's service on the Board of Directors of AIS or of his longtime function as Historian and Chairman of the Historical Committee of AIS. 

                                                                                                    LARRY LYLE HARDER

    PONCA, Neb.  Larry Lyle Harder, 64, of Ponca died Monday, Sept. 10, 2001, at a Sioux City hospital following a lengthy illness.
    Services will be 10 a.m. Friday at Trinity Lutheran church in Martinsburg, Neb., with the Rev. Gary H. Klatt officiating.  Burial will be in the Silver Ridge Cemetery.  Visitation will be at 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday at Mohr Funeral Home, and will resume at 5 p.m. at the church, with the family present at 6 p.m. and a prayer service at 7:30 p.m.
    Mr. Harder was born Dec. 21, 1936, on the Silvercreek farmstead of his parents, Joe H. and Mildred Harder, the second son of a family of seven.  He attended rural school District 19 and graduated from Ponca High School as one of the youngest ever to have graduated.  He was 15 at the time, having started high school at the age of 12.
    He began his career working for the Clerk of District Court in Dixon County in 1953, and then to the Dixon County Clerk's office.  He then worked for the Farmers Home Administration for more than 30 years, receiving numerous achievement awards.  He retired in 1992.
    He was confirmed at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Ponca, and was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Martinsburg, where he remained a faithful servant.
    He grew up with an expanding interest in all kinds of plants and flowers.  In 1953, with his mother's help, he purchased his first hybrid irises, collecting as many kinds as being grown in this area.  In 1959 he joined the national society for irises (American Iris Society).  In 1965 he was appointed regional vice president, the highest office of Region 21 of the American Iris Society.  He was appointed editor of the Regional Bulletin and edited the bulletin for a period of nine years.  In 1962 he attended the National American Iris Society conventioin in Kansas City, Mo.  Since that time, he did not miss a national meeting, traveling all over the country to attend the conventions.  In 1969 he was appointed as the youth chairman for the American National Iris Society, and was instrumental in setting up the program presently being used by the society.  In 1965 he was appointed a judge in the society, and in 1980 became a master judge.  He was a life member of the American Iris Society.
    He not only belonged to the American Iris Society, but all of the following groups:  Median Iris Society; Siberian Iris Society as a charter member; Japanese Iris Society as a charter member; Signa (Society for Species Irises of North America) as a charter member; Spuria Iris Society; Louisiana Iris Society; Reblooming Iris Society; Society for Pacific Coast Native Irises as a charter member; Dwarf Iris Society; British Iris Society; American Horticultural Society; Royal Horticultural Society; American Hemerocallis Society, serving as past regional vice president and was honored by receiving the Veep Scroll in 1978; Garden and Exhibition judge for the society; American Hosta Society as a charter member and judge; International Lilac Society, Inc., as a charter member; North American Lily Society; American Peony Society; and North American Gladiolus Society.
    He served on the American Daylily Society National Board of Directors since 1992; served as historian and chairman of Policy and Procedure; and was founder and first president of the Nebraska Daylily Society.  He was active with the American Hosta Society since 1988, and served as a member of the National Board of Directors.  He was founder and only president of the Ponca Garden Club since it was started in 1971, and served as board member of the Sioux City Garden Club, board member of the Ponca Library Board, board member of the Ponca Historical Society, president and board member of the Ponca Tree Board, and served on and as president of the Board of Directors of the Ponca Historical  Society.  He also served as board member of the Ponca Public Library for 35 years and Friends of the Ponca Library.
    He was the first person in history to serve simultaneously on three different national plant society board of directors.  From the Historic Iris Preservation Society (H.I.P.S.) he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award in 1996 for supporting preservation and iris artifacts.  He was largely responsible for the founding of the Iris Preservation Society.  He started Maple Tree Gardens in 1961, dealing in irises and expanding to include daylilies and hostas.  He was a collector of iris motif.  He held memberships in more than 30 national and international plant societies, many of which he was a life member.  He gave programs on various plants and was invited to speak nationally.
    Survivors include his mother of Ponca; four sisters, Norma Abbott of Kingsley, Iowa, Karen and her husband, Eugene Hartman of Syracuse, Neb., Nancy L. Harder of Ponca, and Linda and her husband Michael Rowell of Killeen, Texas; a brother and his wife, Cal and Janelle Harder of Ponca; a sister-in-law, Audrey Harder of Allen, Neb.; and many nieces and nephews.
    He was preceded in death by his father; a brother, Lee L. Harder; and a brother-in-law, Wayne B. Abbott.
    Pallbearers will be Cal Harder, Eugene Hartman, Roger Nelson, Warren Dunkle, Dr. Michael Jones, Cal Reuter and Gary Way.
    Honorary pallbearers will be Kim Spain, Delwayne Abbott, Lori Smith, Janet Otto, Kellee Nelson, Wendee Harder, Troy Harder, Tiffanny Heese, Tyler Harder, Mark Schultz, Jarod J. Schultz and Jessica Rowell.   
Arnold & Carol Koekkoek        
38 7th Street, NE
Sioux Center, IA 51250
e-mail  koekkoek@mtcnet.net, 

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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