The Shepherdstown community and those who were touched by Kadian Harding mourn the passing of the 14-year-old, who died unexpectedly in a bicycle accident last week.
Kadian was the son of local real estate agent and businessman Thomas Harding and Debora Cackler Harding, CEO of City Bikes of D.C.
According to family friend and local resident David Lillard, Kadian was killed on Wednesday, July 25 when he was hit by a vehicle while on a bike ride with his father and six others near Marlborough College in England.
City Bikes of D.C., where Kadian liked to spend time working alongside his mother, held a candlelit vigil and bicycle ride in Kadian's honor on Sunday, July 29.
According to a press release, members of the City Bikes family, along with the D.C. cycling community rode from the business's flagship location in Adams Morgan throughout the city, including stops at the Apple store in Georgetown and the national monuments. Following the ride, a candlelight vigil was held at Unity Park, across the street from City Bikes.
The release stated: "Kadian Harding was an avid cyclist and lover of technology. He lent a hand at his mother's bike shop during his school vacations for years, always wanting to help out with IT needs. At the time of his death, Kadian was preparing to install a network of almost 30 new computers at all three of City Bikes' locations. Being a lover of all things Apple, Kadian was very excited to have been offered an opportunity to train at the Apple Business Center in the coming months. Kadian will be remembered as a brilliant, articulate and kind young man. His oft-occurring smile can still be felt within the walls of all three City Bikes shops, especially the Capitol Hill location, which Kadian helped to build."
After news broke of Kadian's accident among members of the Shepherdstown community, Kadian's community of young friends and many Shepherdstown residents who knew Kadian participated in a candlelight walk on Thursday evening, July 26. Friends walked in the rain from the steps of McMurran Hall to the old fire station on the corner of King Street, where the Hardings once resided.
According to Monica Larson, a family friend of the Hardings, her son Milo Levine and friend, Josie Lo planned Shepherdstown's candlelight walk to honor Kadian, whom she described as her son's best friend.
"Kadian was a clever, funny and very loving boy. He doted on his dog Duke, baked delicious desserts and could talk for hours on end about Apple products. He was a gift to the world, and we will miss him so very much," Larson said.
Milo Levine, Larson's son, had this to say of his friend:
"Ever since Kadian moved to Shepherdstown he was always quick to make friends. I don't think anyone in town ever saw Kadian as anything less than an inspiration. Kadian always helped me through a rough time no matter the circumstances. The fact that Kadian stayed so true to himself throughout a time when many people lose sight was a true gift. The many years Kadian and I had as best friends will always be very close to my heart. He was like a brother to me and I loved him and his family as if they were my own."
The Larson-Levines traveled to England to join the Harding family on Wednesday of this week as preparations were made for Kadian's memorial service and burial.
Kadian will be buried at the Sustainability Center in East Moon, Hampshire, England today, Aug. 3.