William C. Hardy, 90

Published 9:04 am Friday, November 6, 2020

William C. Hardy, 90

On Saturday evening, October 24, 2020, William Hardy, surrounded by his family in his home, was angelically transported to heaven.

William (Bill) Charles Hardy was born September 4, 1930 in rural Redwood Falls, Minnesota to Charles Franklin Hardy and Mildred L. (Davis) Hardy Madison. He was the second of six children: 3 brothers, 2 sisters. He grew up in Austin, Minnesota, where he attended Shaw Elementary School and Austin High School, graduating in 1948 at the age of 17. The following week, he began what turned into a 47 ½ year career with George A. Hormel and Company. Early on in that career, he wrestled for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers and served our country in the US Navy. Upon returning from his active duty in the Navy, he met Darlene Mae Swank. In January of 1952, the two were married at Austin’s Queen of Angels Church. Their 68-½ year marriage created 5 children. After retiring from George A. Hormel and Company, “Sweet Little Billy” embarked on a 15-year career as a teacher’s aide with Austin Public Schools. Being active was a centerpiece of Bill’s life. He was a high school and college wrestling referee for over 20 years and a community volleyball referee for over 30 years. Bike riding, ping pong, fast pitch softball, volleyball, wallyball, and especially water skiing were his favorite past times. In fact, he was still slalom water skiing at age 76. However, Bill’s love was focused on his family and Jesus Christ. Every member of the family has dozens of stories they could tell of special times with Bill-husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather.

Bill was preceded in death by his father Charles, his mother Mildred, his stepfather Donald Madison, his big brother Rolland, his little sister Barbara, and his great-granddaughter Charlotte.

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He is survived by his wife Darlene Mae, a.k.a. “Dollie Mae” of Austin, MN; brothers, Bob and Chuck Hardy; sister, Joyce Orth; son and daughter-in-law, Randy and Laura Hardy of Faribault, MN; daughter and son-in-law, Jill and Steve Ensor of Madison, WI; daughter, Lisa Hardy Frost of Savage, MN; son, Rayce Hardy of Austin, MN; daughter, Sally Hardy of Austin, MN; a bevy of grandchildren (15), a swarm of great-grandchildren (17), and a gaggle or three of cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.

The Celebration of Life that was scheduled for Nov. 14 has been postponed and will be held at a later date.