Gordon K. Harden, a retired insurance executive and World War II veteran, died Wednesday of a heart attack at Carroll Hospital Center. He was 96.
The son of Guy Tyson Harden Sr., an egg and butter salesman, and Cecile Kingsley Harden, a homemaker, Gordon Kingsley Harden was born at home in Owings Mills. He was a 1936 graduate of Franklin High School and graduated from Stafford Business College.
In 1938, Mr. Harden went to work for Pan American Airways as station manager at Harbor Field, its Baltimore terminal, on Colgate Creek, which is the site of today's Dundalk Marine Terminal.
With the outbreak of World War II, Mr. Harden enlisted in the Navy.
"While he was serving with the Navy, he was assigned to the Army, which had taken over control of Pan American," said his son, Gordon K. Harden Jr. of Towson.
"He was assigned to North Africa as station manager for five years because the flying boats were bringing in supplies to build bases," he said. "After the war, he worked in New York City for Pan Am before moving back to Owings Mills."
Mr. Harden took over the Farm Bureau Insurance Agency, which became a part of Nationwide Insurance Co. in 1955. He later established Gordon K. Harden & Son Insurance, which was affiliated with Nationwide. He retired in 1983.
He was a longtime resident of Owings Mills, and later moved to a home on Greenspring Avenue and Caves Road. In 2005, he and his wife of 69 years, the former Laverne Rew, moved to Carroll Lutheran Village in Westminster.
Mr. Harden was a founding member of Piney Ridge Golf Club and had been a Mason for 52 years, and a member of the Shrine for 51. He was a former president of the Reisterstown-Owings Mills-Glyndon Chamber of Commerce.
He enjoyed puttering around in his workshop and had restored several antique cars. He was still driving at his death.
"He started his day by eating breakfast at Elm's in Woodensburg," his son said.
"He never had been sick a day in his life and enjoyed good health throughout his life," his son said.
Mr. Harden was a member of Mount Zion United Methodist Church.
Services will be held at noon Monday at Carroll Lutheran Village, 300 St. Luke Circle, Westminster.
In addition to his wife and son, Mr. Harden is survived by two daughters, Suzann Carson of Finksburg and Karen Harden Freedman of Reisterstown; 11 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.