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Leppert Mortuaries - Nora

740 East 86Th St, Indianapolis, IN

OBITUARY

William O. Hardy

August 15, 1921June 3, 2019

William O. Hardy

Heaven welcomed William O. Hardy, a member of the Greatest Generation, on June 3, 2019. Born in southern Indiana on August 15, 1921 to Neil and Lucille Hardy, Bill lived a life rich with achievement, love, friendship and fun. He leaves a great legacy to all who knew him by the way he lived his life. He was a man of honesty and integrity; of quiet caring and kindness; and of humility. He had a good wit and a “twinkle in his eye”. He was a good family man and friend. He was simply a good man.

After moving to Indianapolis as a child, he earned the rank of Eagle Scout as a 15 year old; excelled in basketball and track at Shortridge High and played basketball and baseball for the legendary Tony Hinkle at Butler University before signing a professional baseball contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers after his junior year. After serving in World War II, an injury likely kept him out of the big leagues; but Bill continued his baseball career, playing for three National Baseball Congress (semi-pro) national champions. In 1948 he was voted to the NBC “All-American Team” and was named the national tournament’s Most Popular Player. In 1995 Bill was inducted into the Butler Athletic Hall of Fame. He absolutely loved golf and was an excellent player. He continued to play well into his 90’s.

Immediately after graduation from Butler, Bill enlisted in the Navy, serving two years in the Pacific theater as an Ensign, then Lieutenant, and Officer-in-Charge of an LCT boat (Landing Craft, Tank). Although he never talked about it, he served with honor, receiving multiple citations and a Bronze Star for his combat duty.

On May 8, 1945 (Victory in Europe Day), Bill married Florence Emmelman, and they shared love and life together for almost 64 years until Flo’s passing in 2009. Bill was a great father to his two sons, Steve (Janet) and Duke (Tammy); a loving grandfather to Jeffrey Hardy (deceased), Jeni Wright (Chad), Ben Hardy (Ashlee), Tom Hardy (Stella) and Joe Hardy (Katie); and loving great grandfather to (Samuel Jeffrey (deceased), Emma and Maddie Wright and Thea Hardy.

Bill and Flo enjoyed being part of one of the largest groups of close friends ever assembled. This group, which continuously increased in size, loved playing golf and cards, traveling, and just being together. These long-term friendships were truly inspirational.

With Flo, Bill owned Em-Roe Sporting Goods Company from the late 1940’s until his retirement in 1985. He especially enjoyed selling sports equipment to high schools and colleges. He didn’t consider himself as a business man as much as a friend assisting other friends (the coaches who were his customers). He was not motivated as much by profit as he was by service, so Bill often provided equipment to a team even if he knew that he probably wasn’t going to get paid.

Bill and Flo gave much time to St. Luke’s Methodist Church, Brightwood Community Center, Meals on Wheels and other charities. He was proud of his 50+ year membership in the Junto Club of Indianapolis and greatly enjoyed his membership at Highland Country Club.

The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at The Forum - Bridge to Rediscovery for their loving care of Bill over the last 15 months.

Visitation will be Monday, June 10 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at Leppert Mortuary Nora Chapel. A private burial service will be held at Crown Hill Cemetery following the visitation.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you consider a donation to The Butler Bulldog Club or St. Luke’s Methodist Church.

Services

  • Memorial Gathering Monday, June 10, 2019

Memories

William O. Hardy

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Dick Sanburn

June 7, 2019

Sorry to see of Bill's passing. I remember his playing for the Lafayette Red Sox in the late 40's. Then competed with him in the Sporting Goods business for 30 some years. He was a class person and a very good competitor.

Dick Sanburn Sporting Goods , Kokomo,Ind

JEFF KLEIN

June 6, 2019

What a wonderful man! I remember Mr Hardy bringing home basketball shoes so I could try them on at his home, he was special. Steve, Duke and family may Christ comfort you on the passing on of your father!!

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

William O. Hardy

Heaven welcomed William O. Hardy, a member of the Greatest Generation, on June 3, 2019. Born in southern Indiana on August 15, 1921 to Neil and Lucille Hardy, Bill lived a life rich with achievement, love, friendship and fun. He leaves a great legacy to all who knew him by the way he lived his life. He was a man of honesty and integrity; of quiet caring and kindness; and of humility. He had a good wit and a “twinkle in his eye”. He was a good family man and friend. He was simply a good man.

After moving to Indianapolis as a child, he earned the rank of Eagle Scout as a 15 year old; excelled in basketball and track at Shortridge High and played basketball and baseball for the legendary Tony Hinkle at Butler University before signing a professional baseball contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers after his junior year. After serving in World War II, an injury likely kept him out of the big leagues; but Bill continued his baseball career, playing for three National Baseball Congress (semi-pro) national champions. In 1948 he was voted to the NBC “All-American Team” and was named the national tournament’s Most Popular Player. In 1995 Bill was inducted into the Butler Athletic Hall of Fame. He absolutely loved golf and was an excellent player. He continued to play well into his 90’s.

Immediately after graduation from Butler, Bill enlisted in the Navy, serving two years in the Pacific theater as an Ensign, then Lieutenant, and Officer-in-Charge of an LCT boat (Landing Craft, Tank). Although he never talked about it, he served with honor, receiving multiple citations and a Bronze Star for his combat duty.

On May 8, 1945 (Victory in Europe Day), Bill married Florence Emmelman, and they shared love and life together for almost 64 years until Flo’s passing in 2009. Bill was a great father to his two sons, Steve (Janet) and Duke (Tammy); a loving grandfather to Jeffrey Hardy (deceased), Jeni Wright (Chad), Ben Hardy (Ashlee), Tom Hardy (Stella) and Joe Hardy (Katie); and loving great grandfather to (Samuel Jeffrey (deceased), Emma and Maddie Wright and Thea Hardy.

Bill and Flo enjoyed being part of one of the largest groups of close friends ever assembled. This group, which continuously increased in size, loved playing golf and cards, traveling, and just being together. These long-term friendships were truly inspirational.

With Flo, Bill owned Em-Roe Sporting Goods Company from the late 1940’s until his retirement in 1985. He especially enjoyed selling sports equipment to high schools and colleges. He didn’t consider himself as a business man as much as a friend assisting other friends (the coaches who were his customers). He was not motivated as much by profit as he was by service, so Bill often provided equipment to a team even if he knew that he probably wasn’t going to get paid.

Bill and Flo gave much time to St. Luke’s Methodist Church, Brightwood Community Center, Meals on Wheels and other charities. He was proud of his 50+ year membership in the Junto Club of Indianapolis and greatly enjoyed his membership at Highland Country Club.

The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at The Forum - Bridge to Rediscovery for their loving care of Bill over the last 15 months.

Visitation will be Monday, June 10 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at Leppert Mortuary Nora Chapel. A private burial service will be held at Crown Hill Cemetery following the visitation.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you consider a donation to The Butler Bulldog Club or St. Luke’s Methodist Church.