Blanche Elaine Hardeman, the first child of the late Beaure-guarde Andrew Harde-man, Sr. & Bettye Conyers Hardeman, was born in Macon, Georgia on December 22, 1941, two weeks after Pearl Harbor. She passed peacefully on Thursday, January 31, 2013 at Halifax Health Medical Center, with her mother and sister by her side. The family lived in Macon, Atlanta and Columbus, Georgia before settling in Daytona Beach, Florida in 1952. There, her father worked as the manager of the Afro American Life Insurance Company before moving on to Atlanta Life Insurance Company. Her mother worked as a nursing assistant at Halifax Hospital (now Halifax Health Medical Center). Blanche received her early education at St. Peter Claver Catholic School in Macon, E. R. Carter Elementary in Atlanta, 5th Avenue Elementary in Columbus, and Campbell and Bonner elementary schools in Daytona Beach. Blanche became an African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) in early childhood, as her paternal grandfather, Abner Devoe Hardeman ("Papa"), was an A.M.E. minister and later a presiding elder, as was her uncle, Gabriel Hardeman. She accepted Christ as her personal savior as a child and never wavered in her faith, beginning with St. Luke A.M.E. in Macon and St. Mark A.M.E. in Columbus, where "Papa" once preached. In Daytona Beach, the family became members of Mt. Zion A.M.E. and then Allen Chapel A.M.E., where Blanche was an active member for nearly sixty years. A celebration of Blanche's her life will be held on Friday, February 8, 2013, at 12:00 P.M. at Allen Chapel African American Episcopal (A. M. E.) Church, located at 580 George Engram Blvd., Daytona Beach. The family will receive friends on Thursday (today), from 5:30 - 7:30 P.M. at the church, where there will be a viewing on Saturday morning from 10:30 A.M. until fifteen minutes before service time. Interment will follow at Daytona Memorial Gardens. Blanche graduated with honors from Campbell Street High School (CHS) in 1960, where she was elected Miss. CHS for the 1959-60 school year. She graduated from Bethune-Cookman College (now University) in 1967 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in English. She was a substitute teacher and volunteer in the Volusia County School District for several years. She made a very positive impact on her students, many of whom referred to her as one of their favorite teachers. Her volunteer efforts took her into the kindergarten classrooms of Minnie McCrary and the libraries of Mary Fears. Although Blanche faced formidable health challenges throughout her life, beginning in senior high school, those who knew her always referred to her sweet, sweet spirit, her desire to help others and her very pleasing personality. Blanche's commitment to God and to others was also felt in the community. As a faithful member of Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church, she served in many capacities: She was a member of the Board of Stewards, Lay organization, where she served as secretary for many years, Choir number 2, Usher Board Number 1, Glossie M. Beckton Missionary Society, Pulpit Aid Board and the Sophisticated Seniors. She was a member of the Daytona Beach Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated (she was the Deltas' "Miss. Jabberwock" in 1956), Bethune-Cookman College Women's Advisory board, the Westside Business and Professional Association and Sisters Alive. Blanche is well known for her crafts work, which included the creation of beautiful Christmas tree ornaments and jewelry. She, along with her mother, ministered to the needs of the sick and shut-in for many years. They formed a mother-daughter team that was well known throughout the church and civic community for their creative poetry renditions.
Blanche was an extraordinary person who will be fondly remembered by her family and many, many friends. Those who will cherish her memory are her beloved mother, Bettye C. Hardeman; her devoted sister, Betsey L. Hardeman, both of Daytona Beach; her cherished brother, Beaureguarde A. Hardeman, Jr.; aunt, Daisy Hardeman, both of Atlanta; her cousins, Michael Hardeman, Atlanta, Blanche Hardeman, Albany, Georgia, and Louise Bailey, Oakland, California; her devoted goddaughter, Francine Barrs, Daytona Beach. In addition to her father, Blanche was pre-deceased by her father's and mother's siblings. The family wishes to extend special thanks to Mickey Carroll, administrator and staff of Coastal Health and Rehabilitation, the nursing staff (including CNA'S) of the 4th floor of Halifax Health Medical Center (France Tower), Helen Oswald, Halifax Health, Dr. Riaz Rahman, Dr. Elosia Dimayuga and Dr. Avrohm Faber and her many friends who offered tremendous support and love to Blanche and her family during these past few months. Arrangements are under the direction of Herbert Thompson Funeral Home. Daytona Beach, Florida