Emily Irene Harding
October 2, 1923  -  June 3, 2017

Emily Irene Harding

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Darling-Mouser Funeral Home--East Chapel
945 Palm Blvd.
Brownsville, TX  78520
Tuesday, June 06, 2017
5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
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Chapel Service
Darling-Mouser Funeral Home - East Chapel
945 Palm Blvd.
Brownsville, TX  78520
Wednesday, June 07, 2017
11:00 a.m.
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Episcopal Day School
24 North Coria St.
Brownsville, TX  78520
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Irene Harding was born October 2, 1923 to Lendon (Doc) & Vera Mae Hamrick in Ashford, Alabama. Irene’s 2 younger brothers were Eugene & Walter Hamrick. Irene grew up on her parents 300-acre farm outside of Ashford where she learned the lessons of hard work during the depression. She passed away on June 3, 2017 at her home in Brownsville, Texas.
Following high school & business college, Irene met her future husband – Jack Clayton Harding who was on a weekend leave from his Naval posting in Jacksonville, Florida. Irene & Jack were married in the spring of 1945.
In late 1945, Jack & Irene relocated to Chicago, Illinois which was Jack’s hometown. In 1953, they moved to the suburb of Wheaton, Illinois.
Irene is survived by her 3 sons – Barry Wayne (Georgetown), Jack Clayton II (Brownsville) and Charles Robert Harding (Austin). Daughters-in-laws are: Nita Gaye Wallace Harding (Barry), Kathy Bilbo Harding (Jack II), and Gail Stevens Harding (Charles).
In 1961 Jack accepted a promotion & transfer to Brownsville, Texas to become General Manager of the Booth Fisheries shrimp division.
In the early 1980’s, Irene planted an entire sack of Texas bluebonnet seeds in her front flower beds. The Brownsville Herald has twice published front page stories chronicling her beautiful bluebonnets and titled her ‘The Bluebonnet Queen’.
Irene’s husband Jack passed away at age 64 from colon cancer in 1984.
In addition to her gardening interests, Irene also loved to cook & bake and has taught that skill to her 3 daughters-in-law and grandchildren.
Irene was an ardent supporter of the Gladys Porter Zoo and a member of the Cameron County Republican Women’s organization. Irene was also a lifelong “Die-Hard” Chicago Cubs fan and was thrilled with the Cubs World Series title in 2016.
Her surviving family also includes 4 grandchildren: Courtney Joyner (Josh), Jaclyn Moore (Geoff), Jessica Kasper and Jack C. Harding III (Mary) and 5 great grandchildren, Harper & Taylor Moore, Allison & Will Kasper, & Jack C. Harding IV).
Irene also is survived by 5 nephews and 4 nieces living in Alabama, Illinois and Arizona.
Visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 6, 2017 in the East Chapel at Darling-Mouser Funeral Home.
Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, June 7, 2017 in the East Chapel at Darling-Mouser Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to The Episcopal Day School, 24 North Coria St., Brownsville, Texas 78520 and www.episcopaldayschool.net and/or the charity of your choice.


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  1. Sharon Kay Leonard Schilling
    Sugar Land, TX

    Dearest Barry, Jack and Chuck,

    What a wonderful women your Mother was. An example of a loving and giving lady. The fact you and your spouses loved her so much is evidence of her greatness.

    I often see the bluebonnet and think of the legacy she had with her story of the bluebonnet. Now you will remember her every spring when they are fresh vibrant and new.

    You must be at peace with the beautiful memories. One day you will all be together in Heaven with her. That is when the truest joy will come.

    My thoughts and prayers to you at this time.
    Class of 1963 with Barry

  2. Nora A. Figueroa
    Brownsville, TX

    Kathy and Jack,
    I'm so sorry for your loss. May God give you both strength, peace and love in this difficult time. Prayers for all your loved ones. 🙏🏻😘
    For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    ‭‭Romans‬ ‭6:23‬ ‭NIV‬‬

  3. Sharon Pye Kohler
    Plano, TX

    Dear Jack and Family,

    I am so sorry about your Mom. It has been years since I have seen her, but she was always such so strong and loving to my family. Please know we will keep your family in our prayers.

  4. Sudie and John Blackburn
    Brownsville, TX

    We are both saddened at the lost of such a wonderful lady. Irene was a true friend and never failed to provide love and support to our family throughout the many years we knew and loved her. We take heart in knowing she is with those who have gone before her and will cherish the many memories we had over the years.

  5. Mark A. Oliveira
    Brownsville, TX

    I truly loved Irene and Big Jack. On behalf of the Oliveira family, we are so sorry for your loss. Irene was a very strong and special lady and it was my honor to have known her. Go Cubs and my love to all the family.

  6. Joanne McKinnon
    Gloucester, MA

    Dear Jack & Family,
    I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Mrs Harding. May your happy memories sustain you through these difficult days.
    With love & Friendship,
    Joanne McKinnob

  7. Bob and Judy Wooten
    Brownsville, TX

    Our sincere condolences to the Harding family. Irene was a treasure to so many people. She will live on in our hearts and memories forever.

  8. Jeannie Wyatt
    Flagstaff, AZ

    Mrs. Harding, a.k.a. Mom, was an inspiration to all who knew her. She taught by example, and when necessary Mom was not opposed to saying what she thought someone needed to hear. We were all blessed by her presence.

    Jeannie Wyatt

  9. Steve Hamrick
    Ashford, AL

    Sorry for to hear the sad news all will be in my prayers

  10. Ed & Mary Ayers

    Irene was a very special person whom we loved very much. She will be missed by all. Good Bless her.

    With our love,

    Ed & Mary

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