James Hardin (3-2-17) service 3-6-17
James Edward Hardin, 86, of Savannah, died at home on Thursday, March 2.
He was born on Sept. 10, 1930, to Dick Hardin Jr. and Viola Smith Hardin Hames. His wife of sixty-two years, Nellie Ross Hardin, preceded him in death on Aug. 9, 2015.
He was a direct descendent of Colonel Joseph Hardin and his son James Hardin, founders and settlers of Hardin County.
His three sisters, Katherine, Maxine and Sue Nell preceded him in death. His brother Bill Hames lives in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
Born 11 months after the stock market crash of October 1929, he grew up during the Great Depression. He was known as James Edward by most family and friends until he joined the U.S. Navy on the day the Korean War began. He was Jim until retirement at age sixty-five. In 1977, he became Grandpa to the first of his eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
His interests included anything in which his kids, grandkids or great-grandkids were involved. As Dad, he was an assistant Little League baseball coach, driving instructor, firearm instructor, hunting guide, fishing coach, best man and father of the bride. He was a faithful and loving husband and father, and his grandkids and great-grandkids called him a great Grandpa. As Grandpa, he reveled in being the Dairy Queen ice cream provider, catfish fryer, fishing-boat driver and backyard baseball field owner.
After serving in the Navy, he worked for Brown Shoe Company, Compo Industries, and Hudson, Inc., for 42 years, traveling to repair shoe factory equipment. After retirement, he continued to work as a driver for Burt’s Furniture. For many years, he opened the doors as first to arrive for worship at First Baptist Church of Savannah and served at the church doing maintenance, attendance counting, and in the Sunday school office, only retiring from this work a few months before he died.
He lived and served in a close community of neighbors and friends, often taking food, offering assistance, and fixing appliances, plumbing, lawnmowers, and firearms. He could fix anything and feared nothing mechanical. His family and friends constantly found ways to test his ability to repair. Though he had a heart attack at age 46 and had an irregular heartbeat the remainder of his life, he continued to work and serve, relying on prayer and often saying he would not be done until God said he was done.
He is survived by his children and their spouses, Eddie and Rana Hardin, David and Kim Hardin, and Karen Hardin and Lynn Tenry. His grandkids are Josh and Vanessa Hardin, Ethan and Ashley Hardin, Perry and Alba Hardin, Meredith Hardin, Clayton Hardin, Christine Hardin, and Cody and Ashley Johnson. Audra Dee Johnson died in 2001. His great-grandkids are Ella, Ava and Elijah Hardin, Jace Johnson, and Abigail Hardin, with two more on the way.
Services were held on Monday, March 6, at 1 p.m., at Shackelford Chapel in Savannah with Phil Cromwell, Michael Roach and Perry Hardin officiating. Burial followed in Memory Gardens at Savannah.