May 01, 2023

William N Harding

Roxbury Township, William Noel Harding, 90, died on May 1, 2023 at his home surrounded by his loving family and the books and music he enjoyed most.  Bill, known to his family as Noel, was a devoted husband, loving and proud father, grandfather and great-grandfather, and amazing friend to those he met along the way. He cherished spending time with his family, especially holidays and summers in his beloved beach town of Barnegat Light.

Bill was a man of many talents and interests. He was a skilled musician, teaching himself how to play guitar, piano, banjo and harmonica, an avid reader, an award winning watercolor artist and New York Times crossword puzzle wiz. He was well versed in so many areas from politics to sports, history to the arts, and music to current events. No topic was beyond his reach for a robust conversation with anyone willing and able to join.

William Noel Harding was born to the late William and Catherine (Horgan) Harding in County Cork, Ireland and came to the United States at the age of 2. He was raised in Newark for 7 years and then grew up in Morristown. Bill was a graduate of Bayley Ellard High School where he met his future wife, Rosemarie Sebelle, when he was a basketball player and she was his cheerleader. Following high school, he served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War earning many medals and honors. Upon his return to the States, he was welcomed home at the dock by his parents and future wife Rosemarie.

Bill and Rosemarie married in 1957 and moved to Succasunna in 1962 where they raised their family of 5 children. Bill worked for the NJ Bell Telephone Company in Morristown as a chief switchman, later becoming a computer instructor and consultant for AT&T, and member of the Telephone Pioneers of America. He was a very active member of St. Therese Parish in Succasunna where he led the folk choir in church for many years, headed the Home School Association as President, served as a Eucharistic Minister and was a member of the Knights of Columbus. He had a special devotion to St. Therese the Little Flower.

Bill was also very active on the Roxbury Township Board of Elections, Roxbury Little League and the board of the Roxbury Art Association.  He regularly attended school concerts and church plays. He could often be found at the many soccer and baseball fields throughout the town coaching or cheering on his children and grandchildren. He also loved taking them fishing at Horseshoe Lake and Barnegat Inlet.

Throughout his life, Bill thoroughly enjoyed all that New York City had to offer, taking Rosemarie to Rangers, Knicks and Yankees games during their dating years. He would pass this love onto his children with annual visits to Madison Square Garden and Yankee Stadium. The most notable game he attended was Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series, and later had Mr. Larsen sign his ticket stub. He would always march in the New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade with County Cork accompanied by his children and grandchildren. He and Rosemarie would routinely take in a wide variety of events from attending live performances of their favorite late night talk show host, David Letterman, to Broadway shows, museums, ballet and opera at the Met, along with the annual lighting of the Christmas tree and Christmas show at Rockefeller Center.

In his retirement years, Noel and Rosemarie enjoyed traveling together to visit friends and family throughout the country as well as trips back to Ireland and England – meeting up with cousins and long lost relatives. As a history buff, he enjoyed sharing his knowledge with his grandchildren by taking them to many historic sites including Washington DC, Gettysburg and the Statue of Liberty.

He was predeceased by his wife Rosemarie (Sebelle) Harding of 56 years, and by his brother Kevin Harding. He is survived by his 5 children; Bill (and Renee) Harding of Hackettstown, Michael Harding (devoted care taker), of Succasunna, Karen (and Ray) Tighe of Succasunna, Maureen (and Larry) Katz of Succasunna, and Stephen (and Christine) Harding of Succasunna. He also leaves his 10 grandchildren: Billy (Christina), Timmy (Larissa), Brianna (Nick), Shawn (Jill), Ryan (Ava), Meghan (Phil), Robbie, Peter, Liam, Ethan; 3 great grandchildren: Rylee, Billy, Mason; many cherished nieces and nephews, his loving sister Helen Johnson (Florida), his brother-in-law Bill Sebelle (Delaware) and his 2ndcousin Kevin Webb (Ireland).

In his final weeks, Bill’s smile was always at its brightest when his grandchildren were by his side, playing cards, listening to his favorite music or simply just telling his usual but always crowd pleasing jokes to them. He loved them all so dearly and his legacy will live on through them.

Friends may visit at the Davis & Hepplewhite Funeral Home, 96 Main Street, Succasunna, NJ (973)-584-7264 ( on Thursday from 3-5 & 7-9 pm. The Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, 10 am, at St. Therese R C Church in Succasunna, followed by the Interment with Military Honors at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in East Hanover, NJ.

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