Albert Carter Hardage
September 14, 1947 – March 25, 2021
Carter Hardage died March 25, 2021, at his home in Little Rock, Arkansas. Carter was born in Hope, Arkansas to Edith and Albert Hardage. They preceded him in death as did his brother Harry. His wife, Patricia Texter Hardage died in December of 1995. Her death was the great loss of Carter’s life. He is survived by his nephew, Larry Hardage, who maintained a close bond with Carter over his lifetime, and was much loved by him. He is also survived by his brother Harry’s wife, Patricia Hardage and his niece Amy Hardage Clark. His two beautiful great nieces and a host of cousins are also left to cherish his memory.
Carter graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1968 and began his military service in the Army soon thereafter. He served his country in South Korea, and always told friends that he loved the military, and had he not gone to law school, military service would have been his career choice. After Korea, he returned to the University of Arkansas to attend law school, received his law degree and was admitted to the Arkansas Bar in 1975. Woo pig sooie!
He worked as law clerk for Federal Magistrate Judge Robert Faulkner and for United States District Judge William Overton. In 1980 he was hired as Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division by Attorney General Steve Clark. He represented Arkansas Department of Correction employees in hearings before Magistrates and Judges in more than 300 lawsuits during his tenure with the Attorney General. When he was hired, the U.S. Department of Justice had functional control of the Arkansas Department of Correction after the federal courts found that they were operating unconstitutionally in Hutto v. Finney. He and Assistant Attorney General Dennis Molock represented the agency in the successful resolution of that case, returning control to the State. He was promoted to Deputy Attorney General in the Criminal Division, and he served in that capacity until January of 1991. Among his accomplishments, he served a fellowship with the United States Supreme Court sponsored by the National Association of Attorneys General.
He returned to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas for the remainder of his legal career working for the Magistrate Judges on appeals in Social Security Disability cases. His mentor and close friend, United States Magistrate Judge Henry Jones remained a part of Carter’s life for all of his professional career, and their friendship continued after Carter’s retirement in 2014. Go Hogs! Carter always valued his community connections. Some of his favorites were Joe Purvis’ Little Joe and the BKs and all the people he met while being a part of that group. He also was a strong supporter of preserving the history of the Quapaw Quarter in downtown Little Rock, living there for more than fifty years. He made friends for a lifetime volunteering at Riverfest for more than 15 years. He had more friends than most and they represented a wide range of people – CEOs and custodial staff, colleagues and clients, college presidents and students. He treated each of them with courtesy and respect and if he loved you, you were lucky indeed. Wooo Pigs!
In recent years, Carter retreated into a smaller, quieter world. He was fortunate to have made the right friend at the right time forty years earlier. Diana Wilson was there for him through everything that came his way, and his life was better because they had one another’s friendship. Her daughter Cassie and grandson Austin spent one evening each week bringing him joy and special care. As far as Carter was concerned, they were family. Carter was a Sigma Chi, with great friendships made with his fraternity brothers. He was active in the alumni group in Little Rock for many years, and he always found a friend when he met a Sigma Chi. He and Henry and Mary Hodges, Jeff and Carole Shannon and Jim and Mary Katherine Williams renewed their friendship each spring for more than forty years by meeting on Mt. Nebo with good food, good beer, good conversation, good board games, unforgettable memories and Carter’s great cheese dip! Woo pig sooie!
There will be a gathering of “Friends of Carter” in May of 2021. The specific date, time and place will be communicated later. Carter requested that the Sigma Chi White Rose ceremony be made a part of this gathering and hoped brothers would gather to say goodbye. The White Rose ceremony will take place at Carter’s grave at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church’s columbarium before the gathering in May. His friend of more than fifty years, and Sigma Chi Brother Jeff Shannon, will lead the ceremony. In lieu of flowers, Carter requested donations be made to the various funds of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.
Because of Covid health concerns, we know that many would not have been able to attend a gathering now. Until we are together, grab a beer, put on some Jimmy Buffett or Eagles and toast the memory of one of life’s truly wonderful men. Oh yes and call the Hogs!
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Albert Carter Hardage
April 6, 2021
As a very young law clerk at the Attorney General's Office, bumping into Carter was always a pleasant experience. Carter's way of treating everyone with dignity and respect made me feel like I belonged, and is one of his many wonderful traits I have tried to emulate throughout my own professional career.
My deepest sympathy for Carter's loss to all who loved him.
March 31, 2021
Carter was a dear friend. He was also the best roadie Little Joe and the BKs could ever hope to have. Always the gentleman, he never let me walk to my car after a late night gig by myself. He was a night owl for sure. Sleeping in was perhaps his favorite hobby. No goodbyes, Carter, but we'll see you later...... In the meantime, enjoy the rest.
March 30, 2021
Carter was a brilliant attorney and admired by all he worked with as someone willing to help others. I am reminded of Thoreau's quote, "Let him step to the music which he hears, however, measured or far away". He was the perfect non-conformist with the courage to do it his way. He had many friends because he gave more than he received.
March 30, 2021
To Carter's Family: Carter was a great and much-respected attorney at the Arkansas Attorney General's Office for many years. He served his State to the highest level. He later worked with the federal courts on Social Security claims. He always did superb legal work wherever he was. I was privileged to work with him and learn from him concerning federal litigation. Carter also volunteered for many years at Riverfest. He also assisted with the legendary Little Rock band Little Joe and the BKs. Carter was much loved and will be greatly missed ! Reg Rogers
March 29, 2021
Lots of memories of Carter as a co-worker at the Attorney General's Office, particularly our spending 5 weeks straight in trial together. A dear friend with a sharp wit . . . seeker of LR's best plate lunches . . . round trips to the hill to watch Hog basketball on work nights . . . a willing listener in troubled times. A kind soul. My friend, you will be missed.
March 28, 2021
Carder was my friend. He was also my colleague at the Attorney General's office. He was an excellent attorney but more importantly he was an extraordinary friend. I will miss him.