James Edgar Hardison
Oct. 3, 1921 – Sep. 15, 2015
Jim was a devoted husband and a beloved father and grandfather. He passed away peacefully on September 5, 2015 at the age of 93. A true gentlemen and proud American, he will be deeply missed by his family and by the many friends who referred to him as “one of the good guys”. Jim was born October 3, 1921, and was the third of four sonsborn to Leigh & Myrtle Hardison on their citrus ranch in Fillmore, California. He attended and graduated from Fillmore High School. He enlisted in the Navy in June, 1942 and was stationed at New Hebrides in the Pacific as an Aviation Mechanic. He was honorably discharged in 1946. He never got tired of telling his “great adventure”. On March 13, 1961, a Greek-owned WWII Liberty Ship was S.S. Dominator, carrying over ten thousand tons of wheat from Portland, ran aground at Rocky Point in Redondo Beach, California in a dense fog. It quickly became an international news story (full story online, link here: http://laist.com/2008/07/05/laistory_the_wreck_of_the_dominator.php#photo-1 ). Having always been interested in boating, Jim made arrangements to purchase the ship and was in charge of rescue efforts. His two partners, after realizing the scope of the operation, backed out and he was left as sole owner of the fourteen thousand ton ship. He wrote a story detailing the many problems and adventures in taking on this monumental task, including warding off sea pirates in the dead of night with shots fired. He was invited as guest speaker at the Lion’s Club and other Men’s organizations in Southern California. The ship finally had to be scrapped in August leaving Jim with barely enough money left to open a marine hardware store “Marine Trader” in Marina Del Rey – which he operated for twenty years. Jim and Valerie were married February 7, 1979 in Santa Barbara, Calif, and traveled extensively. They moved to Carson City in 1988 enjoying all the perks of living in such beautiful surroundings, the small town atmosphere and many friends and neighbors. In 2001, they became members of the grassroots movement to “Save Fuji Park”. You may remember him (at age 79) being on the corner in front of City Hall carrying his sign “Honk for Fuji” which earned him a picture in the Reno Gazette Journal – also collecting signatures at various locations. He was preceded in death by his three brothers, Donald, Richard, and Wilbur Hardison; grandson, William James Thorn (2000) and stepson, Steven Frederick McOwen (2014). He is surived by Valerie, his loving wife of 36 years; daughter, Carol Ann Thorn, (William); daughter, Diana Lyn Gould (Frank); grandson, Scott Jesse Thorn (Leslie); stepdaughter, Michele Calkins; 9 great grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren. Heartfelt thanks go to Pastor Bob Chambers and the congregation of the First Baptist Church for their help, sympathy, and prayers during this difficult time and to Home Instead Senior Care, and Joyce Cook for her knowledge, patience and friendship. Arrangements were in the trusted care of Autumn Funeral & Cremations. In keeping with Jim’s wishes, no services were planned.