Robert S. Hardy

Robert S. Hardy


            Robert S. Hardy passed away on September 6, 2017, following a hospitalization related to Type 1 diabetes.   He was two weeks shy of his 98th birthday.   His wife of 59 years, Ann (Robinson) preceded him in death in 2003.


            Bob was born in Chatham on September 21, 1919, to the late Josiah and Viola Josephine (Hawes) Hardy.     Following graduation from Chatham High School in 1937, he moved to Plymouth, N.H., to attend the Holderness School for one year of postgraduate work.    During the time he lived in N.H., he became interested in flying and had his first ride in an airplane.   That was the start of a great career in aviation.    He attended Dallas Aviation School and taught flying and meteorology until he turned 21 and joined American Airlines as a pilot in 1940.    At the age of 23 he became a Captain and remained with American until he retired in 1979 as American’s most senior pilot.   His career took him to many cities in the US as well as Guam, Vietnam, Paris, and Australia.   His favorite route was a New York to Sydney trip via the West Coast, on to Honolulu and then to Fiji before arriving in Sydney.    He spent countless layovers exploring Australia and New Zealand.    He traveled there twice with his wife after he retired and they made many trips to Europe, with England being their favorite country to visit.


            Bob and Ann lived for many years in Topsfield, and moved permanently to Chatham in 1968, while he continued to fly out of New York until he was grounded in 1977 with the onset of his diabetes.    In 1977 he joined Eastward Ho! and enjoyed playing golf there for many years.   He could be seen all year round walking the course and pushing his battery operated golf cart!   He was also a subject matter expert on the Naval Air Station in Chatham, a member of St. Martin’s Lodge in Chatham, and spent countless hours until the age of 96 chopping down trees and trimming bushes on his two acres by the water.   


            Bob is survived by his son Robert S. Hardy, Jr., and his wife Mania, his daughter Jane Roiter and her husband Bill, as well as his sister in law, Edith Hardy, and niece, Elizabeth Hardy Wade, all of Chatham.   He was predeceased by his brother James, also of Chatham.


            A funeral followed by a reception will be held at the First Congregational Church of Chatham at 650 Main Street on Wednesday, September 13, at 4:00 p.m.


            In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Chatham Fire and Rescue, 135 Depot Street, Chatham MA  02633 or the Animal Rescue League, 3981 Main Street, Brewster, MA  02631.


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