Nov. 27, 1944 – Aug. 10, 2013
Jack Harnden left us on Saturday, August 10, 2013 after a valiant fight with lymphoma. First diagnosed in 2001, Jack underwent treatments leading to a long remission, but a recurrence last year required him to take the field again. Born on November 27, 1944, he was 68 years old.
Originally from Long Beach, Jack and his wife, Karen, sold their sailboat, left the beach and moved to El Dorado County in 1975, where they built a home on acreage in Shingle Springs. Along with their two sons, Bret and Justin, they enjoyed raising chickens, pigs, rabbits and steers as part of their work in 4-H. Jack also tended fruit trees, vegetables and hops. And everyone agrees, he brewed some awesome ale.
Although he held a B.A. in Philosophy and an M.A. in Human Behavior, Jack taught everything from Social Studies to Peer Counseling to Physical Education. He was also a faculty member of the Glasser Institute and worked as a counselor, consultant and trainer with various service agencies in the greater Sacramento area. But Jack’s true passion was athletics, especially football. He called defense at Ponderosa High School during the championship years of 1975 to 1979 when he left to become the first head coach at Oak Ridge High School. Except for a few seasons at Sacramento City College, Jack continued to coach football at Oak Ridge until his retirement in 2003. In 1995, Jack started the Oak Ridge Rugby Club (which later became Mother Lode Rugby), and still kept a hand in coaching rugby for several years after he retired from teaching. He took his teams on tour in Canada, Ireland and New Zealand so they could experience the instant camaraderie all rugby players share. In recent years, he loved morning racquetball and Friday night slow-pitch, camping, traveling and spending time with family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Jim Harnden, and is survived by a large extended family. This includes Karen, his wife of 44 years, sons Bret (Alison) Harnden and Justin Harnden, granddaughters Katelyn and Kacie Harnden, sisters Vicki Harnden and Tina Porter, step-mother Lyn Harnden, nephew Mark (Michelle) Eomurian, niece Julie (Jesse) Crawford and great nieces, Bailie and Paige Crawford.
A celebration of his life will take place on Saturday, August 24 at 11:30 a.m. at Lakehills Covenant Church in El Dorado Hills. Donations in his memory can be made to Oak Ridge Football or the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.