Sandy Stuart will remember her father as a man who loved his God, country and family.
Robert "Bob" Hardy died Friday, leaving behind Mrs. Stuart, a son, a sister, two brothers and a host of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Mr. Hardy, of North Augusta, joined the Navy in 1943 and saw action in World War II.
"He was very proud of being able to serve his country," Mrs. Stuart said.
After leaving the military, Mrs. Stuart said, he learned to fly and even began to build his own four-seat airplane.
She said he was nearly finished with it but was forced to sell it when he became sick. The family still has pictures of the plane.
"He was very detailed and would spend most of his free time working on that plane," Mrs. Stuart said."In this day and time, he would have been a mechanical engineer."
Mrs. Stuart said her father used to fly a plane through the mountains of Virginia and was often warned about the rough terrain.
Once, she said, he landed his small aircraft on a piece of land where many believed it was impossible to do so.
In those days, she said, pilots didn't have automatic instruments to help them navigate.
"Well," she said. "He managed to land it, and where he landed, there is now an airport."
Mr. Hardy was a deacon at Woodlawn Baptist Church and taught his children at an early age to love and have faith in God.
Mrs. Stuart, 55, said talking to him about faith is one of the earliest memories she has about her father.
"He would tell me that if you only had the faith of a mustard seed, that's all it takes," she said.
"I told the pastor today that (he) had the patience of Job, the wisdom of Solomon and the faith of Abraham."
Services will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday in the Hatcher Funeral Homes Chapel.
The Rev. Tony Christie will officiate a service at Sunset Memory Gardens.
Mrs. Stuart said Mr. Hardy was not her natural father. He married her mother in 1950 and moved the family to the Augusta area when he landed a job working for DuPont - where he worked for 22 years before retiring.
But, she said, he treated her like a natural daughter and she loved him like a real father.
"He is the only dad I ever knew," she said. "He was a real beacon of light for the family."
Everyone in the family got to know Mr. Hardy for the stern but loving man he was, she said.
One of his granddaughters is expecting a baby girl soon. Mrs. Stuart said that child will be told of her great-grandfather.
"We're going to tell her that he was a fine Christian man and that if she knew him, she would gain a lot of insight from her great-grandfather."
R each Louie Villalobos at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 109, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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