February 14, 1934 - November 6, 2018
William Carroll Hardwick (“Bill”) passed away the afternoon of November 6, 2018, at the age of 84, in Portland, Oregon. He graciously and bravely navigated his last moments with a clear mind and an open heart. He was aided by the caring and compassionate team of medical professionals in the ICU at the Portland Veterans Hospital where he spent his last few days. He called his own shots right up to the very end and was surrounded by his loving family.
Bill was born in Joplin, Missouri, to Lelah M. Reding and Raymond G. Hardwick, on February 14, 1934. He left home to join the navy at the age of 17. His 12 years in the Navy took him all over the world and earned him life-long friends, and where he also built a strong bond with those who serve this country.
One of Bill’s military stations was the Naval base in Naples Italy, where, as a handsome 20 year old, he met and married a beautiful Italian girl named Anna Maria, his wife of 14 years, and mother of his six children, Martin, Terrie, Kathy, Martha, Billy, and Michael.
Bill was honorably discharged from the Navy, in 1963, when he came home to Joplin to care for his family and continued his academic studies at Kansas State University.
Bill moved his family to Portland, Oregon, to pursue business opportunities in 1964, and lived out the rest of his life in various locations throughout Oregon.
Bill married his second wife of 14 years, the wonderful and charming Rose Annette, in 1971. Rosie was a devoted wife and a dearly loved step-mother by all his children.
He had several deep and meaningful life-long relationships with many other incredible people along the way...too many to list here. You know who you are.
Bill was a man of tremendous talents, which he cultivated in a meandering way throughout his life. He was skillful with his hands and quick with his mind and used these capabilities to earn a living in the construction business, and later, restoring antique trolley and cable cars with his partner and dear friend of 35 years, Paul. He had a tremendous capacity for learning and made this a hallmark of every endeavor he embarked on and every challenge he confronted.
Bill had a tremendous love of poetry and published his own book of poems. He was an artist and a self-taught pianist with several musical compositions that he would love to play for anyone who came within ear-shot of his keyboard.
One of his true loves, however, was flying. He earned his pilot’s license in his earlier years, and later, became part of a global flight-simulator crew who bonded over their hobby and together, flew regularly, all over the world, with state-of-the-art equipment, and in dozens of different aircraft, while never leaving their own homes.
The first half of Bill’s life was filled with adventure, creation, curiosity, love, loss, and heartache. It gave him the loves of his life, and at times, it came at the expense of lost time and relationships with the people closest to him. However, Bill’s last decades were spent in healing, rebuilding, honoring, and cherishing his time, his family, and his friends, both old and new. Bill was a gentle man, with kindness for everyone he met. He sometimes had a hard time saying he made a mistake. He was often witty. He had a brilliantly simple sense of humor that delighted. He lived and died with no regrets. He loved his children and his grandchildren, and they love him…and he wished only that he had more time with them all.
In Bill’s last few years, he could be found with his dear friend Tom H. doing the NY Times crossword every Sunday, doing sudoku on Wednesdays with his friend Amir, or enjoying coffee on Fridays with his friend Tom M., all in Salem, Oregon.
Bill was an atheist, yet, had an enduring curiosity for the cosmos and that which lays just beyond our universe. He believed in the connectivity of all living beings and the energy that makes up the world that we live in. He was very curious to see what comes next, if anything.
Bill was preceded in death by his son Martin, his daughter Kathy, and his sister Judy, and is survived by his children: Terrie, Martha and her husband Eric, Billy and her husband Ali, and Michael. He is also survived by his grandchildren: Matt, Eric, Sean, Zoey, Will, William, Sophia, and Aaron, and his sister Jane, and his brothers Pete and Bobby, and many nieces and nephews.
Rest in Peace, Papa. We hope you are enjoying all the secrets of the universe.
A memorial service in Bill’s honor will be held on Saturday, November 17, 2018, at 10am at the Pringle Hall Community Center, 606 Church St. SE, Salem, Oregon.
Donations can be made in the name of William Carroll Hardwick to The America Lung Association at: https://www.lung.org/get-involved/ways-to-give/ or the The Faustman Labs for the cure for Type I Diabetes at: https://www.faustmanlab.org/donate/