- After 53 years apart, our mother, Helen Rice Hardy, went to be with our Dad on Saturday, April 29, 2017. Mom died the way she lived, on her own terms. Mom was born in Bangor, Maine on May 9, 1930 to Isabelle Beatrice "BB" and Harold Rice. Since her mother had tuberculosis and died when Mom was young, she was raised by her maternal grandparents, Muriel and Leslie Smith. Mom shared many warm memories of her childhood with us. While her grandparents raised her, they also cared for other relatives, and though they didn't have much money, everyone in the home was well cared for and loved. In her youth, Mom was known as "Tuttie from Fruit Street", luckily a name that did not stick through adulthood.
Mom married our father, Herbert Francis Hardy on February 2, 1952 while Dad was a civil engineering student at the University of Maine in Orono. Upon graduation, Dad reenlisted in the army and their world adventures began. According to Mom, they moved twenty four times in eleven years. They lived everywhere from Limestone, Maine to El Paso, Texas and New York City to Okinawa, Japan.
While Mom experienced many sorrows, losses and challenges throughout her lifetime, she also experienced incredible joy and contentment. Her greatest joy and reason for living was her family. She prided herself being the "matriarch" of her large brood which includes: Andy Hardy and his wife Rhonda; Steve Hardy and his companion Lisa Drake; Bob Hardy and his companion Tammy Mott; Chris Brochu and her husband Mark; Kathy Hardy and her husband Dana Averill. The Hardy home was the gathering spot for the neighborhood kids. It was a boisterous and rowdy home, but filled with love.
After raising her family, Mom found a companion, Ralph Coulter and finally made time to enjoy her interests which included fixing up their camp, going to yard sales and riding his Honda Goldwing. She also found meaning in caring for the elderly as a hospice provider until her retirement at 72 years old. Her favorite job was being a doting grandmother to her grandchildren: Jason Benoit, Jade, Jerrod, Justin and Brandon Hardy, Emilee, Linsay and Cassi Brochu, and Collin and Ryan Averill. She is also survived by four great-grandchildren, Colby, Jayden and Owen Benoit and Mason Hardy.
We want to thank the Bangor Veterans Home for making Mom's last year peaceful and comfortable, and for being so kind to our family in her final days. We also want to thank New Hope Hospice for their guidance, support and loving attention to Mom's needs.
We welcome all our friends and family to join us in a celebration of Mom's life 4 - 7 PM Friday, May 5, 2017 at Kiley & Foley Funeral Service, 299 Union St., Bangor. Burial will be private. Please come and share your memories of Mom with us. Though we are sad she has passed, we are comforted that she is at peace. Messages and memories may be shared with us at kileyandfoley.com.
Published on  May 2, 2017