Dr. David Carlton Hardwick, Sr., 84, of Loudonville, NY, passed away on Friday, May 15, 2020 at Columbus Hospital in Newark, NJ.
Born in Somerset, KY, David was the son of the late Joseph and Lucy (Hall) Hardwick. He was the devoted husband to Rozella “Rozie” (Sturgill) Hardwick. They were married for 62 years.
David was born and raised in Somerset, KY. He graduated from Berea College, (Berea, KY) in 1957 with a B.A. in Chemistry. It was also there, at a popcorn party, that he met the love of his life and soulmate, Rozie, whom he married in December of 1957. After briefly working as a chemist at B.F. Goodrich Tire Company in Akron, OH, David served in the Critical Skill Science Program Basic Training in the U.S. Armed Forces, and was honorably discharged after eight years of service in the U.S. Armed Forces Reserve.
After Basic Training, David felt a calling to become a teacher, so he went back to Berea for teaching certification. He enjoyed teaching Chemistry at Kenmore High School in Akron for many years. A talented and innovative teacher, he coached his students towards analytical thinking instead of the more traditional methods of rote memorization. He won many awards, including “Teacher of the Year”, and was much beloved by his students, who enjoyed making their own scientific discoveries in his science labs. David was especially proud of his “Classroom in the Store Window”, which was televised and used as a prototype for teaching. He was also instrumental in the quality of future educators as a supervising teacher for students at Kent State.
A life-long learner with high aspirations, he was inducted into Phi Betta Kappa at the University of Akron, where he earned his M.A. Ed. in 1964. While there he was recruited to be Supervisor of Secondary Education at Cuyahoga Falls School District, OH. He was proud to bring the cutting-edge ideas of advanced placement courses into the district, and computer technology throughout his entire educational career.
David decided that he could inspire students on an even greater magnitude by becoming a school superintendent. He earned his Ph.D. in Education at Ohio State University in 1969. David continued his leadership and dedication for helping students as an Assistant Superintendent that school year in Franklin, PA; School Superintendent in Kutztown, PA, from 1970 - 1977; and School Superintendent in Lansingburgh, NY, from 1977 - 1985. During his retirement, he enjoyed working in real estate until he began having some health issues.
Always a man of character and honor, David enjoyed many years of service to his community in the Lyons Club and Rotary Club. He was also nominated by the governor of KY to the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, a non-profit charitable organization. He was very proud of his Kentucky heritage, and greatly enjoyed watching the Kentucky Derby, and the song “My Old Kentucky Home”. He also loved watching the University of Kentucky Wildcats basketball team, and cheered on his Ohio State Buckeyes and NY Giants football teams. One of his greatest pleasures was watching his beloved Cincinnati Reds play baseball. Growing up, he had also greatly enjoyed playing baseball, and later coached his son’s Little League team. David and David Jr. always shared a great bond enjoying the Reds.
A deeply religious man, David was active in his church. Always optimistic, he embodied the philosophy of “the power of positive thinking” and was often heard saying, “This too shall pass.” He enjoyed reading religious books and read the Bible daily. He was also an avid cook, and was famous for his baked stuffed shrimp, pancakes and peanut butter syrup, homemade pizzas, and cookouts. He loved music, from classical to oldies pop and 50s “crooners”. He especially loved “Amazing Grace” and Handel’s Messiah. He enjoyed playing cards, Scrabble, Spinner, golfing, biking, camping, and going on many trips to the beach, or to NYC to see a Broadway show. He loved spending time with family at his condo in Florida in his later years.
What Dad enjoyed most of all was spending time with his family. Dad and Mom had a special bond which was noticed by all who saw them lovingly tending to each other. They loved to dance and take long walks together, always hand-in-hand. Their marriage was an inspiration to us all. Dad loved spending time with all his family more than anything else, and we enjoyed many family reunions and get-togethers, celebrations, and cook-outs. He could always counted on for a smile, a laugh, a kind remark, and a way of making everyone feel special. We always knew that no matter what, Dad loved us, and always had our backs.
Besides his wife Rozella, David is survived by his daughter Sandra L. Kurbiel (James), and his son David C. Hardwick, Jr. (Hope).
His grandchildren, Samantha Hardwick, Christopher Kurbiel, and Brianna Hardwick.
His brother, Charles L. Hardwick (Sheilagh Mylott), and brother-in-law, Dillard Feltner.
Numerous nieces, nephews and cousins also survive.
Besides his parents, David was predeceased by his brother, Joseph B. Hardwick (Evelyn) and his sister, Fannie L. Feltner.
Private graveyard services were held on May 22, 2020, at Memory Gardens in Colonie, NY.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Newtonville United Methodist Church.
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