Paul F. Hardwick, age 91, passed away at his home at 10 p.m., Nov. 16, 2013, after eluding stage four prostate bone cancer for 19 months. He resided in Florida with his wife, Rose Etta (Stafford) Hardwick, his wife of seventy plus years. He was the son of Homer and Alta Pearl (Mann) Hardwick. He had two older brothers, Charles and Lowell. His immediate family preceded him in death, but wife, Rose, survives.
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Paul was also preceded in death by two sons, Jon Thomas and Michael Paul. Both were career well decorated United States Marines and Mike retired to serve his country as an employee of Raytheon until his death. Patricia (Pat) Sharp, Site Administrator for the Oakland City and Ivy Tech Bedford Campus, survives.
Grandchildren include Michael P Hardwick Jr. (Christina) of Florida, Curtis (Erica) Hardwick of California, Brian Hardwick of Arizona, Sean Sharp (Marybeth) of Washington, D.C., Sarah (John) Goulart of Tennessee and Matthew Hardwick of Florida. There are three great-grandsons and one great-granddaughter. Daughter-in-laws, Nancy Hardwick (Tenn.) and Susan Hardwick (Fla.) survive as well.
Mr. Hardwick graduated from Needmore High School in 1941, then he worked as a carpenter's helper for the U.S. Army both at Charlestown DuPont plant and Camp Atterbury. After completing civilian pilot training at Notre Dame, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1943. He served 31 months as a diesel technician in the Pacific theatre and was discharged as a 2nd Class Petty Officer in 1946.
The GI Bill afforded Paul the means to begin his academic pursuits at IU in 1946. He completed a B.S. degree in Health, Physical Education and Recreation, with honors, in two years and eight months in 1949. He began that fall, teaching and coaching at Shawswick High School. Two years later, he served at Tunnelton High School. Then he taught and coached at Heltonville High School where the basketball team won the only County Tourney on record in 1954. Upon refusing the principalship at Heltonville, Mr. Hardwick enjoyed a two year stint at BJHS.
From 1956 to 1977, Paul was chairman of science department, started competitive science fairs, sponsored the science club and enjoyed outstanding students who became doctors, dentists, vets, nurses, lawyers, and two astronauts. He enjoyed all his students and still shared vivid experiences from each school setting as often as allowed until his death. Remaining a student himself, he earned a master's degree in education administration from IU and a master's degree in biological science from Purdue as a National Science Scholarship Foundation recipient.
He was very proud of the academic accomplishments of his family. His children shared six degrees earned and the grandchildren 12 degrees earned.
Paul and Rose shared "Valley View Ranch" in the Fayetteville area of Lawrence County and raised black angus cattle and rode a motorcycle for fun. Upon retirement, Paul and Rose learned to avidly play golf. Paul renewed his love of flying by earning his pilot license at age 65. He was an avid fisherman, devoted father and husband, and a gentleman who looked for opportunities to mentor and motivate success.
Paul had prayed to pass away at home, in his right mind, in his sleep and before the onset of the unmerciful pain of the disease. And, The Lord showed His mercy in delivering him as he had hoped.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the
in his name or to The Boys and Girls Club of Bedford, Ind. (2009 19th St., Bedford, IN 47421 Attn: Tammy Bailey).
Arrangements entrusted to Rose Lawn Funeral Home of Gulf Breeze. You may offer condolences, share memories and sign the guestbook at: www.roselawn-fh.com.
Rose Lawn Funeral Home
2942 Gulf Breeze Parkway Gulf Breeze, FL 32563
Published Online in Northwest Florida Daily News on Nov. 19, 2013