The campus community mourns the passing of Robert Harder, who died on Thursday, August 24. Bob was employed in Development & Alumni Relations while at Bucknell, retiring in 2002 after 15 years of service.
Included below is the complete text of the obituary, as provided by the family.
You are encouraged to visit our In Memoriam Site at bucknell.edu/InMemoriam and share personal notes of sympathy and remembrance with others.
On behalf of our entire University community, I extend our deepest sympathies to Bob’s family, as well as to all who knew him at Bucknell.
John C. Bravman
Robert S. Harder, Lewisburg, passed away on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017, at Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia.
Bob is survived by his wife of 26 years, Christena; stepson, Zachary (Eileen) Jarrett; stepdaughters, Lorri (Lamar) Bruckhart and Wendy (Chris) Reeves; and grandchildren, Mackenzie Hill, Jarrett Reeves, Parker Reeves, Grace Bruckhart, and Jake Bruckhart. Bob was preceded in death by his father, Howard L. Harder; his mother, Rheta S. Harder; and his brother, Richard E. Harder.
Bob graduated from Lewisburg High School in 1955 and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration at Bucknell University, graduating in 1959. Bob served his country in the Army at Fort Knox, KY, followed by accounting positions at Armstrong Cork, Lancaster and Braintree, Mass., and National Shawmut Bank, Boston, Mass. From 1965-87, Bob was vice-president and Director of Human Resources at Northern Central Bank in Williamsport. In 1987, Bob returned to Bucknell University as a Development Officer, serving until 2001. Upon his retirement, he served as a Development Consultant for Evangelical Community Hospital, Lewisburg, from 2001-2003.
Bob Harder was a deeply principled, loyal man who loved God, country, family, and community. Bob gave back a hundred-fold to the community he loved. Throughout his adult life in Lewisburg he could be seen attending athletic and cultural events in support of the Dragons and the Bison. Bob shared his expertise in business, accounting, and human resources in leadership positions with the local hospital, the Lewisburg Downtown Partnership, Susquehanna Valley Chorale, Albright Care Services, Bucknell University, Lewisburg Area High School Alumni Association, Green Dragon Foundation, Beaver Memorial Methodist Church, and First Presbyterian Church.
Bob was particularly proud of his long-running service on Bucknell’s Athletic Hall of Fame Committee and his co-founding of the Susquehanna Valley Conservatives. As a cancer survivor, Bob supported Lewisburg’s Relay for Life campaign from 2010-2017 and served as Honorary Chair in 2013, the same year in which he chaired the Geisinger Cancer Institute Volunteer Leadership Council.
Bob’s faith was nurtured by 70 consecutive years as a choral singer. Starting at age 10, shadowing his talented mother, Rheta, in the Methodist choir, and continuing through college, the military, and each professional stop along the way, Bob received the gospel through the old hymns and great classical Christian works such as Handel’s Messiah. In an interview five years ago, Bob remarked, “I thank God for blessing me with the good health that has allowed me to enjoy a lifetime of choral singing. For over six decades, I have shared with other faithful people the weekly privilege of singing praises to God.”
A celebration of Bob’s life and faith will be held at Bucknell University’s Rooke Chapel at 11 a.m. Thursday, with the Rev. John Dromazos, former Pastor at Beaver Memorial Methodist Church, and Rev. Peter Geschwindner, Chaplain at Riverwoods, officiating. Following the service and reception, a graveside service for family and friends will be held in the Lewisburg Cemetery.
Memorial gifts may be designated to the Robert S. Harder Scholarship, Office of Gift Planning, Bucknell University, One Dent Drive, Lewisburg, PA 17837, or to the Benevolent Care Fund, Albright Care Services, 90 Maplewood Drive, Lewisburg, PA 17837.
Arrangements are by John H. Shaw III Funeral Home, Lewisburg.