Harding C. Vidden, 97, Fertile, MN, died Tuesday, December 17, 2019, at Riverview Hospital in Crookston, MN.
Harding was born to Herman and Christine (Syversrud) on the family homestead in Garfield Township, Polk County, MN. He was a lifelong member of Little Norway Lutheran Church where he was baptized and confirmed. Harding attended Lake View Country School and was a 4-H member raising livestock all while doing chores and having fun adventures on the farm.
In 1940 he traveled to Santa Monica, California to work for Douglas Aircraft. Harding joined the United States Army Air Corps in 1942, being trained as a Flight Engineer and Top Turret Gunner on the B-17 Flying Fortress. Harding completed 50 missions and received medals and accolades before returning to the U.S. He was sent to train on the B-29 and then the war ended. He was honorably discharged and returned to California where he worked as a civilian at AFB. Harding owned an orange grove, loved being at the ocean, earned his private pilot’s license and purchased his first aircraft.
On August 24, 1951 Harding married Irene (Bertils) at Little Church of the West, Las Vegas, NV. They lived in California until moving back to the homestead in 1954 to run the family farm and raise their young family. Harding’s mechanical skills and talents, along with his curiosity and hard work, led to a successful farming operation. Under his careful watch, the Vidden farm became a designated Century Farm in 1980. He taught his daughters how to help on the farm and also provided them with many fun opportunities of snowmobiling, skiing, ice-skating, biking, motorcycles, a playhouse and go-kart, to name a few.
Harding and Irene enjoyed traveling around the U.S., often to see their children and grandchildren. Harding had a love of learning new things and purchased his first personal computer in the ’80s becoming quite computer savvy, using it for research and communication. He enjoyed skiing, flying, snowmobiling, dirt bikes, reading, campfires, working on machinery, but most of all, just being on the farm.
Over the years Harding was a member of the Fertile Flying Club, Air National Guard Glider Club and American Legion Post 238. He served as a trustee at Little Norway Lutheran Church and as a board member for Garfield Township.
Harding is survived by Irene, his wife of 68 years; his children: Lou Ann (John) Knorr, Bemidji, MN; Renae (Greg) Smith, Arlington, VA; Rhonda (Guy) Bristol, Shoreview, MN; Shirley Larson, Eads, TN: grandchildren: Tiffany Smith, Jodi (Matt) Hanson, Jill (Brian) Stetter, Meredith Bristol, Michael Larson; sister Vivian Iverson; brother Vernon (Bernice); sister-in-law Ellen Gunderson; brothers-in-law Paul Bertils and David (Elaine) Bertils: nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his son-in-law Tom; his parents Herman and Christine; sister Evelyn and brothers Olaf and Milton.
Funeral: 11:00AM Monday, December 23, 2019, at Little Norway Lutheran Church, rural Fertile, MN.
Visitation: One hour before the service at the church.