Harding, May Dunaway, 91, in Hamden on March 4, 2008, wife of the late Davis P. Harding, beloved mother of Pamela Salmon, Woodward Harding, and the late Susan Harding, sister of Anne Folwell Hart and the late Wayland Fuller Dunaway III. Survived also by her loving caregiver, Merlyn Russell. May was born in Waverly, Virginia, daughter of Wayland Fuller Dunaway and Mary Warren May. Upon completing her graduate studies at Penn State and Yale University, May pursued her lifelong devotion to the teaching of writing and literature. She taught at Southern Connecticut State College from 1955 to 1986, retiring with the distinction of Assistant Professor Emeritus of English. During these years, May published four books of poetry, I See the Line of my Life, (1973), Clearings and Favors (1976), Reassurances (1981), and Realizing (1983). A generous and dedicated teacher, May brought to her teaching and to her students the gift of herself, inspiring them with her own deeply felt poetry, nurturing with kindness their every effort, and awakening in them, with her enthusiastic encouragement, a consciousness of their own special gifts. After retirement May, an avid reader and ardent conversationalist, joyfully inspired others to write establishing and conducting writing groups throughout the community. A celebration of her life and poetry will be held on May 24, 2008 at Trinity Lutheran Church , 292 Orange Street , in New Haven at 1:00 . Arrangements in care of BEECHER & BENNETT, 2300 WHITNEY AVE. , HAMDEN .

View current weather.

Memories Timeline

View the Timeline


  1. Dear Pam, I was very sorry to learn of the death of your mom. She was a gracious lady and her writing group was indeed inspiring. Though she was 91, there is never a good day to lose your mom. I was also sorry to learn of Susie’s earlier passing. God bless. Yours from afar, Steve, Andra Nadel, Rachel and Lena

  2. I was a student in May Harding’s writing classes at Southern Connecticut. May possessed a passion for writing and encouraged all of her students to find their voices. She always came into the classroom in a flurry carrying a bundle of our writing assignments. Prior to today’s technology all of our writing was copied on a mimeograph. May always stressed abundance. .Abundance, abundance. was her mantra. She likened it to exercise. When someone didn’t write the writing skill atrophied like muscles. She was one of the most influential profs in my years at Southern. May’s love of writing touched many lives. I was privileged to be caught up in her enthusiasm.

  3. I was a student of May Dunaway Harding way back in 1973 at Southern Connecticut. I was privileged to enroll in her .Creative Writing. course and learned so much from her about the beauty of words. I read her wonderful book, .I See the Line of My Life,. and was touched by her poetry. For some reason, I thought of Mrs. Harding in the past week and talked about how she was the only college instructor I remember clearly. She touched my life by encouraging me to write, and till this day I freelance and always think of how she inspired me. When I saw that she passed, I wanted to let her family know that one student never forgot her, all these years later. I owe to her my thanks for all she did to enlighten me. To her entire family, I wish to express my deepest condolences upon the passing of a truly unique, talented woman.

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle

Sign the Guestbook