Arthur Harder

Obituary of Arthur Harder

November 4, 1936 – March 1, 2021 A private family memorial service will be held. In the early hours of March 1, Art left us and his polio body, for his new home prepared for him by his heavenly father. It is a place he had been wanting to go to for quite some time. The pain he suffered at the end was terrible. I could not help him and he wanted to die. I prayed for God to take him home. That prayer was answered in less than 2 hours and he passed away before the ambulance reached Rosthern hospital. Art joined the family of Peter and Katharina on November 4, 1936. He spent his early years on the farm approximately 4 miles west and 4.5 miles north of Waldheim. Some of his adventures there were hair raising to say the least, and I’m wondering if this farm was a place where guardian angels were sent for training. In fact, years later when Art returned to farm and had a family of 6 youngsters, these angels had become pro’s. They did an amazing job with his children. When Art was about 7 years old, the old country Salem Church was holding Evangelistic meetings. It was there that he accepted Jesus Christ as his savior and later after his bout with polio, he participated in baptism which took place in the North Saskatchewan river. In 1952 the polio epidemic targeted the Harder home and Art spent 4 months in the hospital. He came home with 2 crutches, a leg and back brace and the doctors’ verdict that he would never walk again. The braces were discarded as too restrictive, and the crutches eventually set aside to be used again only when he broke his legs – 5 times – but walked without crutches he did. I have over the years, accused him of being stubborn, but he always claimed that he was ‘steadfast’ and never changed his mind on that. After high school, Art attended Briercrest Bible College for 3 years. The summers were spent helping his dad on the farm and he began to realize that the farming career he had always wanted could never be. He enrolled in the U of S College of Commerce and graduated in 1965 with an Accounting Major. Art was an amazing man! A very brave man which he proved by marrying me. We were married May 25, 1963 at North Park Bible Church. After Art had been working for Revenue Canada in the Tax Department for a year, His father had a heart attack and could no longer farm. He then moved, with his wife and two children, back to farm and do tax work from his home office. In 1976 he accepted an offer to work at Mennonite Trust Limited in Waldheim. He took his clients with him, and the tax department eventually expanded to 3 employees with more than 800 clients. Post Polio Syndrome began to take its toll and Art was confined to a wheelchair. He resigned from MTL in 1998 and resumed working from his home office. He enjoyed his work and his clients became our friends. His electric wheelchair became his mode of transportation and it took him where he needed to go. To the clinic, post office, bank, and grocery store. There was the occasional mishap, but someone always came to his rescue. He also enjoyed helping in the garden, but he buried those wheelchair wheels in the soft soil once too often, so he was banned. Art was a Godly man-a good man-a kind man. He always loved his children and they loved him in return. Our youngest child was added to the family in 1981. He was a 7 year old boy who needed a dad like Art. Art had a heart for those less fortunate and he could also be funny. He was involved with the person to person ministry, and some of the young men came to live with us upon their release. Somewhere in Arts office, if I were to look for it, I’d find a certificate designating him as an ”Honorary Con” given to him by the inmates. He was rather proud of that. Before he went to sleep on the last day of February, he gave me a nice warm hug, a big kiss, and with smiling eyes he said, “I love you very much”. We will all miss you, Art. Your children, your grandchildren and I. Art is survived by his loving wife, Mary Ann Harder; children, Cheryl (Ray) Unrau, Randy (Jen) Harder, Warren (Jennifer) Harder, Russell (Sang Hee) Harder, Darren (Chantel) Harder, Shawn (Bernice) Harder; 10 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren God’s word of encouragement for Art is 2 Corinthians 12:9, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee’. A quote from the “Arts gone” file “Someday my life’s little day will soften down to eventide. My sunset hours will come. And then, I know there will arise, out of the dusk, a dawning fairer than any dawn that has ever broken upon me. Out of the last tints of sunset there shall arise a day such as I shall never have known before; a day that shall restore to me all that the other days have taken from me, a day that shall never fade into twilight.”
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