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Merritt W. Hardt

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Merritt W. "Dude" Hardt, 85

Merritt W. "Dude" Hardt, 85, of Flora, died on Sunday, January 6, 2013, at 5:50 a.m. at Milner Community Health Care in Rossville.

He was born January 8, 1927, in Colfax, McLean County, Ill., the son of Christ and Lela Edwards Hardt.

On July 7, 1956, he married the former Madeline Maralee Dunn in Lexington, Ill.; she preceded him in death on November 16, 2012.

Dude attended Cooksville High School and received his associate degree from Purdue University in Lafayette. He served in the United States Army during World War II. Dude was a certified water plant operator and distributor, associate electrical engineer, and a member of the Indiana Municipal Power Agency. He started as a lineman and eventually became superintendent of town of Flora for 19 years. Merritt retired in 1992 after serving Lebanon Utilities as an electrical superintendent for 13 years. After retiring, the Hardt's moved back to the Flora area. Dude became an auctioneer and was a member of the Indiana Auctioneer's Association. He was a member of Flora First Christian Church and the American Legion. Dude was an avid horse lover, breeding and showing Quarter horses for 35 years. He was one of the founding members of the Carroll County Blazers Saddle Club and a 4-H Horse and Pony leader for Carroll County for several years.

Surviving Dude are his daughter, Janet (husband, Charles) Spooner of Flora; two grandsons, Scott (wife, Holly) Spooner of Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Matt Spooner of Lafayette; one great-granddaughter, Grace Spooner; and two sisters, Faye Farner of Rockville and Blanche (husband, Bill) Tracy of Lexington, Ill.

In addition to his wife, he is preceded in death by his parents; four brothers, Frank, Theodore, Richard, and Kenneth; and three sisters, Kaye, Virginia, and Barbara.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, January 8, 2013, at Genda Funeral Home-Reinke Chapel from 4-8 p.m. Funeral service will be held on Wednesday, January 9, 2013, at the funeral home at 10 a.m. with Pastor Woody Slade officiating. Burial will follow in Maple Lawn Cemetery in Flora.

Memorials in Dude's name may be made to Flora First Christian Church.

On-line condolences may be directed to www.gendafuneralhome.com.

Published in the Journal & Courier from Jan. 6 to Jan. 7, 2013
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