Obituary for Paul Hardin
July 5, 1919 – August 6, 2020
Paul Hardin was born in 1919, to Rosamond and Floyd Hardin. He spent his childhood in Chico, CA moving with his family to San Bernardino in 1934. After finishing high school in 1937, Paul worked at the Santa Fe railyards to pay for college. He matriculated at Cal Tech Pasadena that fall, where he met his future wife, Lois Collins, and graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering. Paul served in the Pacific theater of World War II as a weatherman for the US Army Air Corps. He and Lois then settled in Whittier, CA where they raised three sons. Paul’s career reflected his love of learning and making. He worked for Aerojet General developing fuels for a new technology called ‘jet engines'(!), and taught high school chemistry, math, and general/electrical shop for 30 years. In retirement he took up the craft of brass instrument repair and building mouthpieces.
In 1984, Paul and Lois moved to Penn Valley with son Ken’s family where they helped raise grandchildren and travelled extensively throughout the US researching and writing their families’ genealogy. At home, Paul could be found in his garage workshop, building, inventing, repairing or tinkering, and whistling as he worked. He was a committed recycler: when the GV Methodist Church replaced its organ, Paul volunteered to take the old one and used its parts, from switches to springs to bits of felt, for projects over the next two decades.
Paul lived at Atria Grass Valley for 13 years, mastering his pool game, making new friends, and creating amazing miniature papier-mâché art. A philosophical thinker, Paul talked of his thoughts on mortality, quoting his favorite speech from Shakespeare’s Macbeth: “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.” Paul didn’t find this a hopeless or dismal thought. As he said, “What’s important is finding the beauty all around us, and not being concerned with what awaits us after life. The moment is NOW!” Paul’s life and legacy of curiosity, kindness, and wisdom have signified a great deal to his loving family.
Paul died August 6, 2020, predeceased by his wife, Lois (1920-2017), his sons Donald (1950-1986) and David (1947-2020), and his older sister Grace (1918-2020). He is survived by his son, Ken (Julie) Hardin, daughter-in-law Marilyn (David) Hardin, grandchildren Cathy (Jeremy Pagan) Hardin, Robb (Nicole) Hardin, Kurt (Cally) Hardin, and Tony Taylor, and great-grandchildren Eleanor Pagan and Aiden Hardin.
Memorial donations may be made to InConcert Sierra and/or Hospice of the Foothills.
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