Bob Hardy was born and spent most of his youth in the Great State of Alabama. Born into a military family, he learned at an early age the meaning of sacrifice and duty to country as his father was called to service as an Army officer to serve in foreign conflicts during World War II. The campaigns that his father engaged in abroad brought long separations without contact for Bob, his mother and sister. For him, moving all over the country from Army post to Army post and the many “goodbyes” was a normal way of life for his family which included attending 14 different schools.
Inspired by his father’s service and sense of duty, Bob knew that the Army was his path and he was commissioned upon graduating from the University of Alabama. Bob entered active duty service in 1956 and his first tour was as an air defense artillery officer and commanded the Nike missile battery site at Lorton, VA. Following that assignment he was reassigned to Korea. In October 1962, Bob returned from Korea to marry the young Patty Faucett, also of Alabama, and whom he had only dated for three weeks before asking her to marry him.
As a newly married couple they began their life at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma followed by other moves to Heidelberg, Germany, Ft. Knox, Ft. Bragg, and to Ft. Bliss while having one daughter and two sons along the way. After Ft. Bliss, Bob left his family in Alabama for a one year tour in Vietnam. Upon his return home, the Army sent Bob with his family to the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa so that he could earn a Master’s degree in Public Affairs. While studying for two years in graduate school, Bob found time to do his favorite thing which was to watch the Alabama football team practice every afternoon under Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.
After earning his graduate degree, Bob was assigned to the Secretary of Defense’s Public Affairs staff at the Pentagon where he worked until retiring as Lieutenant Colonel in 1977. Following his retirement he immediately went to work as press secretary to Congressman Bill Dickinson of Alabama and served in that capacity for seven years before serving as press secretary to Senator Jeremiah Denton, also of Alabama, for two years. He spent several years at the Department of Health and Human Services before retiring from Federal service for a second time. It was during this time period that Bob’s respect for the power of firearms and his strong interest in promoting gun safety to his children that he learned about junior rifle clubs and the Robinson HS Rifle team and in 1981 he became involved in shooting activities at the Ft. Belvoir gun range with his sons. From this, his involvement grew from being a parent of shooters to being more actively involved in shooting sports which eventually led to him teaching safety and coaching other youth in competitive shooting. For over thirty years he served as a volunteer rifle coach. Bob felt privileged to work with many parents and to coach hundreds of talented and committed shooters. During his years in the rifle community he has been witness to many young men and women who have used their competitive shooting skills to earn college scholarships, appointments to military academies and to enter occupations that serve their country and communities.
The time that Bob spent with the Robinson Rifle team and the team parents was rewarding and fulfilling and the time spent with his wife, children and grandchildren gave Bob enormous happiness. Bob’s eighty-seven years have covered many miles. He and Patty have experienced life’s trials as well as its many joys. Through it all, deep faith and abiding confidence he and Patty share in God have guided them through fifty-eight years of marriage. It is no secret that Patty’s sweet spirit and endless patience have been ever present as well. It was his love for Patty that moved the two of them to Tampa, FL in 2018. The capstone of their marriage is the fact that their kids and grandchildren share their love and faith in Christ, who has always been the true north of their family.
Bob left this world and his family on June 22, 2021. He is survived by his wife, Patty, sister, Kathy, his three children and their spouses, four grandchildren and a grandson-in-law. His family will miss him dearly.