Paul K. Hardy, age 96 of Decorah, IA, died Saturday morning, January 18, 2014 at Barthell O.E.S. Home in Decorah.
Memorial Services will be held at 11:00 A.M. Thursday, January 23, 2014 at First United Methodist Church in Decorah with Rev. John Caldwell officiating.
Visitation will be after 10:00 A.M. Thursday, one hour before services, at First United Methodist Church.
Paul Kirk Hardy was born May 6, 1917 to William and Ida (Kirk) Hardy in Hazel Green, Wisconsin. He graduated from Hazel Green High School with the class of 1934, and then attended the University of Dubuque for 2 years. There he met Jean Holubar. They were married on May 30, 1937 at St. Luke’s Methodist Church in Dubuque, Iowa.
During World War II, Paul joined the 78th Infantry Division and fought in the Battle of the Bulge, The Cologne Plain and the first crossing of the Remagen Bridge. He was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.
Paul and his family moved to Decorah in 1949 where he owned and operated Hardy’s Western Auto Store until 1995. He was a very successful business man and had a huge following of faithful customers. People still speak of his generosity and sensitivity to their needs. He never turned anyone away for lack of financial means.
During those years he was president of many organizations. He helped organize the Decorah Jaycees and was their first President. One group he was especially proud of was the Decorah Development, which he helped found. He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, Decorah School Board, Masons, Rotary, VFW, American Legion, Elks, Oneota Golf and Country Club, Decorah Jobs and was a longtime member of the First United Methodist Church.
Paul is survived by his wife Jean of Decorah; his children: William (Therese) Hardy of Verona, WI, Jane Hardy of Decorah and Philip (Marcia) Hardy of Decorah; one sister, Virginia (Doug) Neville of Ladysmith, WI; his grandchildren: Lynne Hardy, Kim (Leo Silva) Hardy, Kristen (Gerry Ambrose) Hardy, Adam Hardy, Josh Hardy and Rachel (Ryan) Gray; his great-grandchildren: Jared Hardy, Kayla (Jerad) Ruth and Jackson Hardy; and his great great grandson, Finn Ruth.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ida and William Hardy; two sisters, Velma (Russell) Henderson and Audrey Hardy; and great-grandson Colton Hardy.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Decorah Public Library, 202 Winnebago Street, Decorah, IA 52101.