Family Pens Unique Obituary in Honor of Luzerne County Man

PRINGLE, Pa. -- James Harden, 70, of Pringle died of cancer earlier this week. His family paid tribute to him by writing him a heartfelt obituary.

Among the many pages in a newspaper, some of the hardest to read are the obituaries.

"I'm so blessed that I was able to put it into words," Harden's daughter Noreen Mitchell said. "It only took six hours, a pack of cigarettes and a box of tissues."

James Harden's family wanted his obituary to match the spirit of the man it memorializes. The lengthy and descriptive tribute details all of harden's life. It stretches over several columns of the paper. His daughter, Noreen, helped write the long tribute.

"There was so much to say," Mitchell said. "We had to cut it down, actually, a few times, but it just kind of poured out. He was the most amazing man that I've ever known and there wasn't enough words to pay him tribute."

Harden grew up in Wilkes-Barre, he graduated from GAR High School. That's where he met the love of his life, his wife of nearly 50 years, Anne. Harden spent a few years in the Navy before coming back to our area to work as a roofer. His son, who is named after him, also joined the military.

"I'm just grateful for him being my father and showing me the work ethic that he had," Harden's son, James Harden, Jr. said. "I used it and applied it in my life and, you know what? My life is going pretty good just like his was."

Through the years of his life, Harden, not only made an everlasting mark on his family but also other members of the community. If you didn't know him as a roofer, you knew him for being a youth basketball coach, or for being the great family man he was. He leaves behind five kids and 15 grandchildren.

"He gave us everything that he could," Harden's son Matthew Harden said. "Made our dreams happen. Was behind us to support us when we fell, pick us back up, dust us off and tell us to get back out there. He was courage, strength."

"I'm really going to miss him, he was my everything and there won't be a day that goes by that I don't think of him, but I know I have his love forever," Harden's wife Anne Harden said.