Lawrence Charles Hardick, 84, of Indiana, passed away on Sunday, December 13, 2020 at Indiana Regional Medical Center.
Lawrence was born on April 18th, 1936 to John and Ann Hardick of Punxsutawney.
Lawrence attended Harmony School, a one room school house, until the sixth grade and then graduated from St. Adrian High School in 1954. His dad took him to the railroad workshop, where Lawrence determined it to be “too loud, too dirty, and too dusty”. He joined the Army for three years in the fall of 1954. He spent most of his enlistment in Japan and had fond memories of the culture and people there.
After returning home, Lawrence enrolled at Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he studied education. Here he met his wife, LaRue (Bowers) Hardick and they were happily married for 53 years. After graduation, Lawrence was a school teacher for a short time but was dismayed and upset with its politics. He resigned and became a caseworker for the Department of Public Welfare; he worked hard, rose through the ranks and eventually accepted the position of Executive Director for DPW for Armstrong County.
Lawrence’s open, pleasant and supportive personality was recognized by anyone who came in contact with him. He saw the role of Executive Director as a teacher and coach, not a boss. He was greatly respected and admired by his staff. Other Directors told his brother, Paul, that they wished they could have more of Lawrence’s personality and his ability to effectively manage a staff and the regulations of the DPW.
He helped change the lives of many people for over 30 years in this position before his retirement. He was remembered as a very kind and fair boss; “He was simply the best”.
A keystone of Lawrence’s values was to help others, especially those who needed it the most. One time he picked up a person hitchhiking near Punxsutawney. When he learned the person was going to Kittanning, Lawrence said “Oh! That’s not far from where I’m going, so I’ll take you there”. Such an act was not unusual for Lawrence, but more an everyday occurrence.
Lawrence loved to hunt and especially fish for bass and trout with his brother, Fred; they often went to Lake Michigan and Erie for salmon and returned home with a full locker that he would give away. But as much as Lawrence loved to talk about fishing, he especially loved to tell his brothers about his son, Mark. He wasn’t a long distance traveler; he didn’t like to fly, but he would go to the ends of the earth to be able to spend time with his son. He was a loving father and he and his wife loved to spend their winters in Florida with Mark. They enjoyed the warm weather, walking the dogs in the park, and dining at fine restaurants. They cherished their time spent together and looked forward to it each year. After his wife passed he continued to make the trip alone. Recently plans were being made for him to make a permanent move to Florida to spend more time with his son. Lawrence was so very proud of Mark’s kindness, consideration of others and hard work ethic.
Lawrence was loved by so many, but he truly touched the hearts of his nieces and nephews. He was the maker of midnight pancakes, he was the quiet companion on a walk through his neighborhood, he was a hunting mentor, and he had a knack for making each experience with him magical. His great-great nephew Max remembers him with such love saying; “He wasn’t just my uncle. He was my fishing expert, my accomplice on countless basement ghost hunts, my provider of wisdom, my teller of stories, and my light on a dark day.”
Lawrence is preceded in death by his parents, brothers Jack and Fred, and his wife LaRue.
He is survived by his son Mark of St. Petersburg, Fla, sister Maryann of North Carolina, brother Paul of Carlisle, and many nieces and nephews.
A graveside service will take place at 1:00pm on Saturday December 19th, 2020 at Brush Valley Lutheran Cemetary.
Lawrence will be remembered for the kind, generous, loving and caring friend, Uncle, Brother, Father, and Husband that he was and will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him.
Lefdahl Funeral Home is in charge of funeral arrangements.
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