Franklin "Bud" Hardt, age 90, passed on peacefully at the Wisconsin Veteran's Home in King, WI on Thursday, June 26th 2014 , with family at his side.
Frank was the son of Theodore and Dorothy (Adams) Hardt, born in Sheboygan, WI on July 3, 1923. He was a graduate of Sheboygan High School class of 1941. It was there that he met his high school sweetheart, Elizabeth "Lois" Williams, who he married on February 16, 1943.
Franklin proudly served his country by enlisting in the Air Force on Sept. 19, 1942. He attended a basic training class at Ellington Field, TX ; a flexible gunnery course at the Laredo Army Air Field, Laredo TX ; a bombardier school at Midland Army Air Field, Midland TX and received intensive combat training instruction at Wendover Field, Utah. Frank flew 32 missions during World War II as a bombardier, all in B-24 Liberators. He later served as well, in the Korean War, stationed in the Philippines. Captain Franklin A. Hardt received his honorable discharge September 6, 1956.
Upon returning to the states, Frank worked for the H.C. Prange Co. as a buyer in both Sheboygan and Appleton, WI. His experience in retail lead to opening the following store: Hardt's Menswear, Neenah WI ; The Junior Miss, Neenah WI; and The Iron Rail (Levi stores) located in Appleton, La Crosse, Marshfield, & Wausau WI, and Winona MN.. After retiring from the retail business, Frank worked part time at Caley Corp. in Neenah, WI with Sales and Marketing.
Aside from his military service and business interests, Franklin enjoyed raising three sons with his wife Lois in Appleton, WI where they resided on Third St. for 52 years, vacations on Pensacola Beach, bicycling with his wife, playing tennis at the Fox Cities Racquet Club, being a member of the First United Methodist Church, and joining friends & 3rd St. neighbors at Pierce Park for the city band concerts on summer evenings.
Franklin is survived by three sons: David Hardt (Peggy)-Wausau, Richard Hardt (Sandra)-Appleton, James Hardt (Karen)-Galesville WI, grandchildren: Brooke Davis (Andy)-Wausau, Nicholas Hardt (Alana)- Stillwater MN, Ryan Hardt - Milwaukee, and Karissa Ring (Joshua)-Appleton, and great grandchildren: Connor Davis and Carly Davis- Wausau.
Frank was preceded in death by his loving wife, Elizabeth "Lois" Hardt, his parents; Theodore and Dorothy Hardt, brothers; Tom Hardt & Allan Hardt, his sister; Dottie Rebholz - Lowpoint, IL, grandchildren; Michael Hardt and Maggie Hardt - Galesville, WI, and a great granddaughter; Elise Kay Ring- Appleton, WI.
A Memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at the Wisconsin Veterans Home - Main Chapel in King, WI with Chaplain Rich Engle, officiating. Visitation will be from 10:30 - 11:00 a.m. at the Main Chapel. Military Honors will be observed following the memorial service. Interment will be in the Central Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery in King. In lieu of flowers memorials are appreciated in memory of Franklin A. Hardt.
The family wishes to thank the kind staff of Stordock Hall 4th floor at the Wisconsin Veteran's Home at King for their tender care.
Amazing Grace, It is so sweet.......Once blind I now can see!!
Published in Appleton Post-Crescent on July 6, 2014