Linda R. Harding

Linda Ruth Andresen Harding passed away on May 4th, 2020. She was born with joy and music in her soul, and both have been threads in the fabric of her entire life. The middle child of Muriel (Curtis) and Thomas Edward Andresen Sr. in a devoted, tight-knit family in Swampscott, Massachusetts; Linda grew up to have memories of what she often called an ideal childhood. Her father served in both the Army and Navy. Her mother kept an ordered household, and Linda, with her brother and sister, enjoyed making fudge, playing “dress up”, and especially, the times they shared on the riverfront at the summer home in Gloucester.

Music was part of Linda’s education at every level. At first it was the piano, and practicing with her sister after supper excused them both from washing the dinner dishes. Later it was the clarinet, the instrument that brought her into the high school band when she was still in junior high. Ultimately it was her soprano voice, at the center of her college years and the expressed gift as a professional music educator in Connecticut, and several towns in metro west. She treasured her times with young children and she felt gratified with establishing the Cherub Choir in her church in October 1995. Meeting members in recent years, now as grown adults and some with children of their own, has always been a happy moment.

Linda laughed readily and heartily at truly funny things, but not when anyone got hurt, or when the humor involved derision or disrespect. She disliked cynicism. She could come up with a song for nearly any moment or feeling, and her teaching it was always a joy-filled experience for everyone. Her own two children were among her best students.

As a mother, Linda devoted her time for fun with games and puzzles, and untiring support for after-school activities. Waterpark visits were a priority. She loved competition. In Scrabble, she could turn to invented spelling, and being with her while watching the Red Sox or the Patriots was an experience to behold – she was so enthusiastic. Linda did not have to talk much about family values, or what was right and fair and just. She simply made them the focus of all she did each day.

Linda was a sister of Chapter K, PEO. Having been inducted in 2006, she delighted in its mission and supported it completely. It was, she said, her chance to help with issues “beyond her own.” She also spoke of finding so many precious friends, and at the end of phone conversations, Linda was always last to say, “Bye”.

Her longest personal involvement was as a member of the Village Church Choir. She claimed that her singing was her way of praying and she told others that when she didn’t feel well, it was her best therapy and she felt as though “nothing was wrong.”

Linda’s remaining family is large and widespread. She leaves Bradford Harding, of Natick, her adoring husband of 56 years; Thelma Tisdale of Peabody, her sister and special family music partner; her devoted brother, Thomas Andresen Jr, and his wife, Susan of Gloucester. Linda’s children are Peter Thomas Harding and his partner Karen Heavey, of Wayland; and Sarah Elizabeth Harding and her wife, Jennifer Sulin-Stair, of Catonsville, MD. Missing Linda also are her granddaughters, Charlize and Ryenne.

Close to Linda were her nephews; Thomas Andresen III, and his wife Ashley, of Fanning Springs, FL; Curtis Andresen, his wife Tania and their son, Michael, of Georgetown; and Anton James Andresen, of Peabody. Linda was also close to her cousins, Clayton Curtis, his wife Pat, and their daughter Julie, of Swampscott.

Many additional cousins, nieces and nephews live in several states and in Norway.

In recent years, Linda lived with two episodes of cancer. She called both of them her “adventure.” She did not want them, she did not like them, but she never saw herself as a victim. She accepted her cancer with determination and faithful attention to the care and guidance of her medical team. At home with hospice care and that of her family, she died peacefully at age 79.

A service to celebrate Linda’s life is planned for the near future, and her cremated remains will be interred in the cemetery at her church.

Linda and her family request that gifts in her memory can be made to:

Chapter K, PEO International


Wellesley Congregational (Village) Church

designating either the ‘Choral Music Library’, or ‘Memorial Path’.


Let the family know you care by sharing this tribute.

13 Condolences

  1. Marcia king on May 7, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    I am so very sorry Sarah to hear about your lovely mother. I have such fond memories of her and will always remember her beautiful music and her smiling face. My deepest condolences to your dad your brother and your entire lovely family.

  2. Rune Hannevik on May 7, 2020 at 5:22 pm

    We are so sorry for your loss. Linda was such a kind woman with a huge heart. Our deepest condolences to you and your/our family ❤️

  3. Kim Looby on May 7, 2020 at 9:57 pm

    I am so deeply saddened by your loss of your Linda! Please accept my deepest sympathies. While I only had the chance to meet Linda on a few occasions, our encounters were lovely. Linda lit up the room. She was joyful, quick to laugh and it was obvious to me her family meant everything to her. Please know that my thoughts, prayers and love are with you all during this very difficult and sad time. xox

  4. Judy McGraime on May 8, 2020 at 8:47 pm

    Such a gracious lady. Linda always had a smile and twinkle in her eye . She treated
    everyone with kindness and respect, even those she only knew casually like myself.
    What a blessing that she and Brad found each other and made such a beautiful life
    together. Wishing you God’s peace and rejoicing in a life well lived.

  5. Kerry Evans on May 8, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    Linda made everyone feel loved. I think there is no greater gift than that. She was, and will always be, a gift in our lives. Our deepest sympathy for your loss. With love, Kerry, Tom, Nick and Graham

  6. Susan Sicchitano on May 8, 2020 at 9:45 pm

    Dear Brad and Family,
    Linda was such a special lady. She always had a bright smile and a kind word. I especially loved watching her love of music and her ability to show the children in the church choir what it was like to truly sing with love and praise.
    My deepest sympathy to you all.

  7. Karen Pierce on May 8, 2020 at 9:47 pm

    Linda was such a gift to our church and to our family. She was instrumental in introducing the love of music to my children and I have so many fond memories of singing with her in the Choir loft. She will truly be missed by all of the Pierces. Sending love and prayers to you Brad, and to the entire family.

  8. Lucy O’Mara on May 9, 2020 at 11:52 am

    I met Linda when I was her accompanist for elementary chorus at Eliot School in Needham. She had a treasure trove of songs for the children and was a treasure herself.
    I also was her sister in PEO and saw her enjoyment of helping with education for women.
    I join with her family in mourning the loss of Linda.

  9. Gayle Lape on May 12, 2020 at 4:19 am

    Dear Brad, Sarah, and Peter,

    I’m sad for your loss. Linda was such a sunny and delightful person. I admired her bravery in fighting cancer and her love for her family. I’ll always remember sharing Mother’s Day with Linda on several occasions and the fun we had with our daughters, grandchildren and husbands. I’ll miss her and send you my sympathy.

  10. Charles Revkin on May 14, 2020 at 3:04 pm

    Dear Brad, Sarah, Peter,
    Full of smiles, energy and unquestioned love to all those who knew her.
    A perfect friend.
    My sincere condolences.

  11. Theresa Keating and Ann Keating Bettencourt on July 18, 2020 at 11:10 pm

    My heart goes out to the Harding and Andresen family with my deepest sympathy. Linda was a friend from childhood in Swampscott right through college at Boston University. I have wonderful memories too numerous to pen but I find comfort in knowing that she is no longer suffering and that we will all be united again in the Spirit of everlasting Love.

    Thelma, and Tom, my brother, Babe, passed on June 18 from bone cancer. May Linda and our parents have a welcoming reunion.

  12. Nancy Calderwood on November 13, 2020 at 11:17 pm

    I still miss Linda. Thinking of all of you.

  13. Bradford Harding on January 4, 2022 at 1:04 am

    I have heard it said that we die no less than three times: first when our heart stops, not to be restarted, second when we are interred, and finally when our name is uttered for the last time.
    I am not sure of the final count: our engraved headstone may inspire others, and, after all, God does keep track. This, I truly believe.
    I love my wife and best friend, and I still miss her terribly.

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