Thomas Henry Hard, Sr., son of the late Lucy (Bailey) and Wallace D. Hard, was born on Dec. 7, 1924, in Chicago, Illinois, and passed into eternity Jan. 7, 2021, in Farmington.
Tom attended Tilden Tech High School in Chicago where he excelled in both education and football. He was voted to the All-City Football Team and his performance proved pivotal in Tilden’s win of the Public League Championship. The title game, which Tilden lost to the Catholic League champs, was played in Chicago’s Soldier Field before 100,000 fans.
At 18 years-of-age Tom joined the U.S. Navy and served in the Pacific Theater during WWII. During the invasion of Saipan, he was wounded in action and awarded the Purple Heart. After the war, Tom studied engineering at Purdue University graduating in 1949. While at Purdue he played left guard on the football team and married Kathleen Therese Clifford of Chicago in June of 1948.
Cecelia and Tom, Jr., were born in Maryland, where Tom began his career as a Professional Engineer working on the first Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Clifford, Philip, and Stephen were born in Missouri where Tom worked with the Martin Marietta Corporation. In 1961, Tom began working for the Allentown Portland Cement Company to design and build one of the first cement plants in the world to be operated by computer. The family’s home was in Whitehall Township, PA, where Tom helped establish and coach the Fullerton Ramblers, a still active youth football team.
In 1972 Tom began working for the Atlantic Cement Company in Ravenna, NY, rebuilding one of the largest cement plants in the country. While in Ravenna, Tom renewed his interest in flying, regularly traveling in his plane from Ravenna to their cottage on Lake Champlain. Tom’s work career culminated in the design and construction of a new plant for Atlantic at Sparrows Point, Maryland, in the early 1980’s. The design was the first of its kind in the United States, utilizing energy-saving European technology. He retired as Plant Manager at Sparrows Point in 1986. Following retirement, Tom and Kathleen lived on their sailboat, the Christine Marie, exploring the Caribbean and sailing from New York across the Erie Canal and down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. Kathleen died in Miami in 1991 after a bout with cancer, being cared for until the end by her devoted husband.
In the early 90’s, Tom continued working as a consultant first in New Orleans and then in Hawaii. He married Joyce Mitchell in 1994. They lived in Manhattan and Carmel, NY. They separated in 2017. Tom loved to work, and he continued designing for family and friends. His efforts included the extensive renovation of the Carmel apartment, bridges and retaining walls, a pergola, a concrete restaurant bar, and a lift for the Carmel Library, among other things.
In addition to his wife, Kathleen, Tom was predeceased by his brothers and their wives: Daniel and Rose of Chicago, and Willis (Bill) and LaMoyne of Chatsworth, Calif., and Coldwater, Michigan. He is survived by his five children and their spouses: Cecelia Hard and William Hendricks of Pittsburgh, Penn.; Thomas (Jr.) and Gwen Hard of Fairplay, Maryland; Clifford and Violet Hard of Ripley, West Virginia; Philip and Deborah Hard of Bedford, Penn.; and Stephen Hard and Mark Giulietti of New Britain. He is also survived by nine grandchildren, six greatgrandchildren, over a score of nieces and nephews (most in the Chicago area), and many friends.
Carlson Funeral Home of New Britain is handling arrangements. Funeral services will be held at a future date when family and friends can gather safely. For those wishing to offer an expression of sympathy or honor Tom, a donation to a charity of the donor’s choosing is suggested. Please share a memory or note of sympathy at www.carlsonfuneralhome.com