Harding Wescott

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harding wescott photo

Mr. Harding Parks Wescott Jr, of Columbia, Md. passed away on Feb. 12, 2023. Harding approached all aspects of life with passion and humor. He was born in Nassawadox and grew up on a beautiful farm on the Nassawadox Creek. There, he grew up valuing nature, friends, and family. In 1964, he enrolled in Chowan University where he played football. Two years later, he transferred to Shepherd University in West Virginia. At Shepherd, he continued playing football, earned his bachelor’s degree, and then opened a bar called the Red Ram in town. Claudia Panter also enrolled at Shepherd and Harding was captivated. They became husband and wife in 1973 and settled in Columbia, Md. Together, Harding and Claudia built a family and enduring friendships.

Harding became an ironworker, loving the challenge of hard work outside. Further into his career, he began managing large-scale jobs and helping to design bridges. He was a major contributor to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project and The Elizabeth River Tunnels. As superintendent, Harding was involved in planning, scheduling, and executing the operations on these projects. The Elizabeth River Tunnels project was recognized by Ironworker Magazine, a nationally distributed publication, as a large, complex, and well-run operation. Harding was known in the region by union and non-union ironworkers as an intelligent, hardworking, and fair ironworker.

He also joined and became an active member of Emory United Methodist Church in Ellicott City, teaching Bible school, researching and recording the church’s history, and planning capital projects. He was a talented cook, bringing together friends, family, and neighbors over amazing meals. Harding adored his grandchildren and enjoyed spending time with them at the playground, in the garden, on the water and in his home.

Harding was born on Feb. 9, 1946 to Harding Parks Wescott and Louise Lee (Anderton) Wescott. He is survived by his children, Jessica Rose Wescott Favret and husband Jim, and Harding Parks Wescott III and wife Carolyn, and his grandchildren: Jacqueline Rose Favret, Patrick Harding Favret, and Harding Parks Wescott IV. He is also survived by his sister, Beverly (Wescott) Watson and husband Bill. In addition to his parents, Harding is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Claudia (Panter) Wescott.

Harding’s memorial service will take place on Saturday, March 4, at 11 a.m. at Emory United Methodist Church. Refreshments will follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to The Nature Conservancy or to Emory United Methodist Church. Donations for the Nature Conservancy may be mailed to, P.O. Box 158, Nassawadox, VA 23413. Please write “Virginia Coast Reserve” in the memo line. Donations for Emory United Methodist Church may be sent to 3799 Church Road, Ellicott City, MD 21043.

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