ANTRIM, NH: Nina Mae (Rokes) Harding (96), of Antrim, passed away on July 15 at Concord Hospital after a long and fulfilling life.
Nina was born in Antrim on January 27, 1920 to Edward and Etta Louise Rokes. She grew up in very humble surroundings, walking miles to school, helping with the chores involved in rural living. They heated by wood and hand-pumped water into buckets. Nina often remarked throughout her life of the amazing conveniences that she got to see - everything from indoor plumbing, refrigeration, television and computers. She was a beloved Antrim native and well known in the community as one who contributed endlessly to the town with an unparalleled generosity of spirit and keenness of mind. Nina attended Antrim schools and upon graduating from high school, married the widower Andrew Fuglestad, becoming the loving stepmother of eight Fuglestad children to whom she remained close throughout the years.
Nina's community involvement began as early as the 1940's with the Girl Scouts. She joined the Antrim Players in the 1950's, appearing in a number of productions. She is probably best remembered by the Players as the official back stage prompter. In 1956 she married William Harding and operated a bed and breakfast on Main Street in Antrim. For more than two decades Nina was the baker at New England College in Henniker. Many still have fond memories of her superb baking.
Nina was very dedicated to the preservation of Antrim's history and was the go-to person if you were looking for a past fact or historical context. She knew it all. She was a master community organizier and, given a kernel of an idea, her enthusiasm would pull you in and she would convince you that you were the one to help. She watched over many, gently nudging, always propelling forward, until the work was done. In recent years Nina worked as the secretary at the First Presbyterian Church, where you could find her almost every morning putting together the church newsletter, kibitzing with the seniors, and giving the dickens to the party responsible for an improper table setting. She delighted in her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, yet there was always room in that magnanimous heart of hers for others. She was always there with a kind word, a funny anecdote, a patient ear and plenty of sound advice.
Nina was the ebodiment of civic spirit and community commitment and Antrim has been immeasurably enriched by her steadfast devotion and many contributions. She was predeceased by her eight step-children, and is survived by her half-sister, Jackie Duval of Jaffrey, her two children from her second marriage, Samuel Harding and his wife Colleen of Antrim and Susan Harding of Connecticut, many grandchildren and great grandchildren. There are also many other people who are proud to consider themselves, as Nina wanted, members of her extended family. She had a boundless heart and lived her life with strong devotion to family, community and her belief that love is all you need. Nina will be dearly missed by her family members, her extended family, her church community and the entire town of Antrim.
A celebration of her lifewill be held Tuesday July 19, 2016 at 1 PM at the First Presbyterian Church of Antrim NH.
The Holt-Woodbury Funeral Home & Cremation service Hillsboro, NH is assisting the family.
It was her desire to help revitalize the church and see it grow, both in fellowship and preservation of the historic community landmark. Memorial donations may be sent in her memory to the First Presbyterian Church, 73 Main Street, Antrim, NH 03440.
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