Harold Hardwick

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Harold Hardwick

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[frame src=”https://michelottisawyers.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/hardwick1.jpg” width=”200″ height=”” lightbox=”on” title=”Harold Hardwick” align=”left” ]Harold Hardwick, of Billings, Montana, died of natural causes Monday, October 3, 2011 at Tender Nest Assisted Living in Laurel. He had just celebrated his 98th birthday.

Harold was born in Wallasey, across the River Mersey from Liverpool, England, on September 29, 1913 to Gertrude and George Herbert Hardwick. Harold knew death as a young boy when his father was killed in 1918 during the First World War. An intelligent young man with an aptitude for mechanics, Harold began working in an electrical shop, and later for the telephone company.

Harold fell in love with a beautiful young woman from across the river, Lilian Boileau, and they married in Liverpool on April 14, 1941. They began many adventures together on Harold’s only transportation, a motorbike. After months of searching out spare parts and meticulous restoration, Harold surprised Lily with a handsome black Ford automobile. With that, they could go on extended trips to nearby Wales.

Though he tried to enlist in the armed services during World War II, Harold’s work with the telephone company was considered essential, a “reserved occupation,” and he was turned away. Harold was proud of the work he did helping to connect England to the European continent via underwater telephone cable. It vexed him greatly to disconnect these same lines during the war.

After the war ended, life in England remained difficult with shortages of food and other essentials commonplace. In 1955, the Hardwicks emigrated to the “States” at the suggestion of Lilian’s sister Ruth Boileau Poore, who had married an American and settled in Billings, Montana.

Once in Billings, both Harold and Lily started careers at the Bell Telephone Company where both were employed until retirement. Harold and Lily were members of the Telephone Pioneers of Montana.

Over the years, Harold and Lily loved to explore and travel, visiting most of the United States, camping in their small travel trailer. They also returned to England to visit friends and relatives several times. Happy memories were also made at their property along Rock Creek near Red Lodge. They had a great love for dogs and particularly enjoyed Samoyeds, and later Dachshunds.

Harold was a skilled handyman, and enjoyed making improvements and building furniture. He and Lily carefully tended their gardens, brimming with English tea roses. Though proud to have become Americans, they were British through and through, with their distinctive accents and the ever-present and welcoming pot of tea for guests.

Lily, the love of Harold’s life and wife of 67 years, passed in May of 2008. He was also preceded in death by his parents and brother Frederick of England.

Harold was grateful for the help of his dear friends Edna and Roy Townsend, who enabled him to live independently at his home in Billings until his move to Tender Nest. He was appreciative of the wonderful care he received in this last residence.

Harold has many nieces and nephews in America and England who mourn his loss, including his brother’s children Shirley Hardwick Gray (husband Mike) and Roy Hardwick (wife Anita) of Wallasey, England.

Harold was a kind and caring man, non-judgmental, with an enormous capacity for humor and curiosity. You couldn’t meet a warmer human being, or a more devoted husband. Harold personified the word “gentleman.” He lived a long and good life, a life to be celebrated.

Funeral Services will be held at 1:00 P.M., Friday, October 7, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary with burial to follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens.

Memorials may be made to the Billings Animal Shelter or Rocky Mountain Hospice.

 

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