RLACEI Submitted by Beverly J. Clark, Publicity Director
RLACEI Board Member
RLACEI Board Member Dennis Harding was born and raised in Southern California in the San Gabriel Valley. He is one of seven children born to Mary and Edward Harding. Dennis’ first City employment was in the first-ever summer worker program in 1965, following his graduation from Rosemead High School.
He graduated from East L.A. College in 1967 with an associate’s degree in psychology. Shortly thereafter, he was drafted into the Army in April 1968, trained as a combat field medic, and was sent to Vietnam in September 1968. Dennis was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious service in Vietnam. Upon his return to the States he was assigned to the Fort Ord stockade as a Clinical Psychology Specialist, counseling prisoners. After his military service, Dennis began his City career as a Maintenance Laborer in Public Works/Street Maintenance while resuming his education. He graduated from Cal State Northridge with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology in 1976. Later he earned a master’s degree in public administration from Pepperdine University.
Dennis was employed for 36 years in Public Works/Street Maintenance. Twenty-five of those years were in supervision, mid-management, and senior management. The last six years, Dennis was the Street Maintenance General Superintendent II (Chief Operations Manager) of the Street Maintenance Division, directing the activities of street cleaning, street repair, and street resurfacing for the entire City of Los Angeles.
Dennis; his brother, Bill; and stepbrother, Mario Gomez; all followed in the footsteps of their father, Edward, and grandfather, Clement, who also had careers in Street Maintenance. Dennis retired in 2005 in the same position as his father had in 1981.
Since his retirement, Dennis has been employed as a part-time property manager for
Canoga Park Lutheran Church, responsible primarily for maintaining and improving the church and school property. He is also the project manager for a charter school on the church property.
Dennis has been married to his wife, Rica, for 42 years. They have three children and eight grandchildren. He is a collector of vintage 1940s-’50s plastic toys and 1950s-’60s Superman, Superboy, and science fiction comic books.