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John William "Bill" Hardy passed away on October 1st, 2012 in Gainesville, Florida.

He was born in Murphysboro, Illinois on January 12th, 1930. A naturalist since a child, he was an avid freshwater and fly fisherman and a bird enthusiast. He earned his PhD in Ornithology at University of Kansas and was a Professor and Curator at the University of Florida from 1973 until 1990. He was a world renowned ornithologist; leading birding trips in Costa Rica and the Galapagos as well as recording rare bird calls that are now heard at Disney's Magic Kingdom. His hard work on some of the first recordings of an owl in the Amazon led to the owl being named after him: Hardy's Pygmy Owl. He was founder and owner of ARA Records, which was a leader in bird recordings for years. With his company Revelation Records, he helped undiscovered, talented jazz musicians make their first records and share their gift. To say Bill was passionate about jazz music is an understatement. Jazz music was his faithful and devoted companion through joyful and hard times.

He is survived by Maria Lima, his caregiver of 10 years, his daughter, Claudia Hardy (and son in law Henry (Buz) Bireline) and his son, Matthew Hardy.

A memorial service is planned for Sunday, October 7th at 6pm at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville, 4225 N.W. 34th Street.

Arrangements are under the care of Forest Meadows Funeral Home, Cemeteries and Crematory. (352) 378-2528 Please sign his guestbook at

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Gainesville Sun from Oct. 5 to Oct. 6, 2012.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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7 entries
January 23, 2018
This is my dad my best friend idol and mentor he was a great guy I was lucky to be adopted by him and my mom dad I miss you love Matt
Matthew Hardy
July 25, 2013
Dear dad , thanks for everything you blessed me with a knowledge of all forms of music made aperricate nature. my fellow man and life,itself, let alone fishing biking,birds and family values. my biggest regret is you never met your other grandchildren. but they know all about you. damn it hurts not to have you around. i really miss you. your with god now, tell him thanks for letting you be my father. rest in peace. i will always love you. and you will always be in my heart, and prayers
matthee hardy
July 24, 2013
Fear not dad your free now no more pain, sorrow or angy i just wish we would have more time together before you passed would be proud of me im doing good. i miss you. you were always my hero idol and friend. you taught me everything about life. thanks love you dad matt your son
matthew hardy
March 7, 2013
I don't know John Hardy though I know his son Matthew in recent weeks here in Gainesville, Florida. Matt is doing well and he's a great person that I'm so happy I met in my life. So, if you read this Matt/Michael or one of my best friends to ever have in Life. Thanks BRO and thanks for your Dad to be in your life in spirit. He's always there because I know my Dad, Mom and Sister are in Heaven. We're all waiting for you know who to come. Love your son as a brother and I pray he does what I believe he'll do for my birthday soon. If not...Oh well. Life is what it is. God bless you John and your family. :)...Love always, Matt's bro also named Matthew. ;)
Matthew Duffany
January 16, 2013
Hi my name is Paula Foster. I did'nt know Mr. Hardy or his family directly but he wrote the story about my "Uncle Buddy",(Earl Anderza) that was published in his cd. We were searching for information on my uncle, when I learned of the passing of Mr. Hardy. Im sorry for the loss of Mr. Hardy and may God bless the family. Paula Foster
paula foster
October 10, 2012
Bill Hardy was an old and good friend. I'm sorry I didn't see him more often in his last years. He, his family, and his friends would have all been well served if he had had a healthier old age.
Richard Brewer
October 5, 2012
Dr. Hardy was the best instructor I ever had at the University of Florida! I learned and retained more from his Avian Biology course than any I have ever taken (UF Class of 1989). He instilled in me a love and passion for birds that has only strengthened over the years. I have often played and listened to his bird call tape, and was pleased to see his recordings on the FLMNH web site ( Dr. Hardy was truly an inspiration. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this time.
Meri Nantz
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