Mary Brooks Harding

Mary Brooks Harding, 88, of Jamestown, RI, passed away Friday, January 5, 2018 at the Philip Hulitar Hospice Center in Providence, R.I, after suffering a stroke. 

Born in Philadelphia, P.A, she was the daughter of the late Ulric J. and Eleanor B. Mengert. She graduated from Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia, PA in 1947; received a B.A. from Wellesley College, and an M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1954.

After a few years teaching at the elementary and junior high school level, she married Howard W. Harding, Jr., on February 11, 1956. They lived in Cleveland, Ohio, Westport, CT, Wellesley, MA and Worcester, MA.

She was an active member in the Junior League for nearly 20 years while raising her three children before moving in 1973 to Jamestown, RI,  where she had spent her childhood summers. Additionally as a volunteer for the Jamestown Historical Society, she obtained grants for funds to restore the Jamestown Windmill and helped to coordinate its full restoration.  She interviewed ferry captains while contributing to research on behalf of the Jamestown Historical Society to document the history of the ferry services to and from Conanicut Island before both bridges were built.

She was an avid tennis player, and played regularly into her mid-eighties. She was a long-time member of the Conanicut Yacht Club, where she learned to sail as a young child. She was fluent in French, and regularly participated with a local French language group.

She was preceded in death by her husband Howard W. Harding, Jr., and is survived by daughters Emily Harding, Polly Dombroski and Sarah Harding, and grandchildren John Dombroski, James Dombroski, Maya de la Torre and Elijah de la Torre.

Gifts in her memory may be made to the Jamestown Historical Society, P.O. Box 156, Jamestown, RI 02835 or by visiting