Warren G. Harding Sr., a retired Chessie System yardmaster and World War II veteran, died Saturday of complications from a broken hip at Bonnie Blink, the Maryland Masonic Home in Hunt Valley. He was 96.
The son of Henry R. Harding, a Baltimore & Ohio Railroad yardmaster, and Margaret D. Long Harding, a homemaker, Warren Gamaliel Harding was born in Baltimore and raised on Carville Avenue in Arbutus. He attended Baltimore County public schools.
Mr. Harding — who was named for the 29th president, who died in 1923, family members said — began his railroad career in 1937 working as a brakeman for the B&O.
He later was promoted to conductor and yardmaster at Camden Station. He retired in 1975 from the Chessie System, successor to the B&O, which is today’s CSX Transportation.
During World War II, Mr. Harding served as a corporal in Alaska. He was a member of American Legion Post 116 in Reisterstown.
Mr. Harding who had lived in Halethorpe before moving to Reisterstown in 1965, was a 32nd-degree Mason. He was a member of Palestine Lodge 189 AF&AM, Ionic Lodge 145, the Scottish Rite, Boumi Temple, Bonnie Blink Daylight and the Masonic Veterans Association.
He was also a lifelong member of the Arbutus Volunteer Fire Company.
Mr. Harding enjoyed taking cruises and visiting the West.
“He did not travel by train because he said he’d seen enough trains,” a daughter, Deborah D. Goebels of Port St. Lucie, Fla., said with a laugh.
His wife of 64 years, the former Helen L. Hoursh, died in 2012.
Graveside services for Mr. Harding will be held at 11:30 a.m. Friday at Garrison Forest Veterans Cemetery, 11501 Garrison Forest Road, Owings Mills..
In addition to his daughter, he is survived by a son, Warren G. Harding Jr. of Tulsa, Okla.; another daughter, Donna D. Hansen of Westminster; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchilden.