James Hardin

Obituary
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Hardin, James M.
James Martin Hardin, 72, of Port Orchard, WA and Ridgefield, CT, passed away December 16, 2013, at the Connecticut Regional Hospice Center in Branford, CT. Jim was born March 8, 1941, in Belmont, NC to Robert and Estelle (Mullis) Hardin. He graduated from Belmont High School and went on to earn a B.S. from Rollins College in Winter Park, FL. Jim served in the U.S. Air Force, stationed in Orlando, during the Vietnam era. After leaving the military, he spent the next 14 years in administrative management for CNA Insurance, transferring from Orlando to Pittsburgh to Chicago. Jim was an exceptional manager who believed in "managing in a human world." His career continued with senior management positions within the insurance industry in White Plains, NY and West Hartford, CT, culminating with ownership of his own agency in Norfolk, VA in the late 1980s. After a period of reflection, Jim relocated back to Connecticut, where he joined the staff of the Westport Weston YMCA. At the time of his retirement in 2007, he had risen to the position of Associate Executive Director. During this time, Jim lived at Compo Beach in Westport, where he frequently entertained friends and family. On any given morning, Jim could be found in his favorite place - sitting on the beach with his coffee. Upon his retirement, Jim joined his son in Port Orchard, WA, where he resided until 2013. While living in Port Orchard, he worked as a supervisor for the enumerators on the 2010 Census Team. Jim was a lifelong supporter of civil rights, dating back to the 1960s. His hero was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and was a member of the NAACP and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Jim is survived by his former wife, Maria Hardin of Ridgefield, CT; his son, Christian Hardin of Port Orchard, WA; his daughter, Kelly Heese of Pound Ridge, NY; his beloved grandson, Will Heese; his siblings, Nancy Fowler of Huntersville, NC; Cordelia Armstrong of Belmont, NC and Robert Hardin of Huntersville, NC. Jim was predeceased by his sisters, Martha Frye of Mount Holly, NC and Paula Hardin of Belmont, NC. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews. A Celebration of Life memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at the Unitarian Church of Westport, 10 Lyons Plain Rd, Westport, CT 06880 www.uuwestport.org. In lieu of flowers, donations in Jim's memory can be made to the Southern Poverty Law Center, 400 Washington Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36104; Regional Hospice and Home Care of Western CT, 39 Old Ridgebury Road, Danbury, CT 06810, or Connecticut Hospice, 100 Double Beach Road, Branford, CT 06405.

Published in Westport News from Dec. 24 to Dec. 27, 2013
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