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Geoffrey Gordon Harding (Geoff)

Died: January 11, 2011

Geoff Harding was a big man. He was tall, had dark well-groomed hair, and spoke Virginian with a deep, resonant voice. It is no wonder that his classmates and friends in Vanderbilt Hall called him The Big G. He graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in Staunton, Virginia and came to Yale with big plans. He brought promo recordings of one of Staunton’s rock groups and hoped to get them played in New Haven. Sadly, things didn’t work out well for him at Yale, and he left in the middle of freshman year. According to his wife, Gillian, he was subsequently educated at Stanford and Cambridge. He received his M.B.A. from Stanford in marketing in 1969.

He worked for Baxter Pharmaceuticals for 35 years and was involved in the development of a product for treatment of hemophiliacs with factor VIII deficiency. In this role he traveled the world. One of his co-workers described him as an exceedingly “kind, considerate, generous and personable” man. Before traveling to an unfamiliar country he studied the local culture to better assimilate with his clients. His co-worker added that he was a “sharp dresser” and drove a “snazzy red convertible.” No surprise, given the impression he made during his brief time at Yale.

His wife, Gillian, was the love of his life. Their two children, Adrian and Derek, were born in 1997 and 1999, respectively. He hoped that they would some day attend Yale. His family often accompanied him on his travels abroad. They made their home in Tujunga, California, near Los Angeles. According to Gillian he loved food, fine wine, and gardening. He died suddenly on January 11, 2011 while sitting at his desk enjoying milk and cookies four days after retiring from Baxter.