Paul K. Hardy, 96, of Decorah, died Saturday morning, Jan. 18, 2014, at Barthell O.E.S. Home in Decorah. Memorial services are at 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, at First United Methodist Church in Decorah, with Rev. John Caldwell officiating. Visitation is after 10 a.m. Thursday, one hour before services, at First United Methodist Church. Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah is serving the family. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Decorah Public Library, 202 Winnebago Street, Decorah, IA 52101. Online condolences may be made at fjelstul.com. Organist is Michael Berndt.
Paul Kirk Hardy was born May 6, 1917, to William and Ida (Kirk) Hardy in Hazel Green, Wis. He graduated from Hazel Green High School with the class of 1934, and then attended the University of Dubuque for two years. There he met Jean Holubar. They were married oMay 30, 1937, at St. Luke's Methodist Church in Dubuque. During World War II, Paul joined the 78th Infantry Division and fought in
the Battle of the Bulge, the Cologne Plain and the first crossing of the Remagen Bridge. He was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. Paul and his family moved to Decorah in 1949, where he owned and operated Hardy's Western Auto Store until 1995. He was a very successful businessman and had a huge following of faithful customers. People still speak of his generosity and sensitivity to their needs. He never turned anyone away for lack of financial means.During those years he was president of many organizations. He helped organize the Decorah Jaycees and was their first president. One group he was especially proud of was the Decorah Development, which he helped found. He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, Decorah School Board, Masons, Rotary, VFW, American Legion, Elks, Oneota Golf and Country Club, Decorah Jobs and was a longtime member of the First United Methodist Church.
Paul is survived by his wife, Jean, of Decorah; his children: William (Therese) Hardy of Verona, Wis., Jane Hardy of Decorah and Philip (Marcia) Hardy of Decorah; one sister, Virginia (Doug) Neville of Ladysmith, Wis.; his grandchildren: Lynne Hardy, Kim (Leo Silva) Hardy, Kristen (Gerry Ambrose) Hardy, Adam Hardy, Josh Hardy and Rachel (Ryan) Gray; his great-grandchildren: Jared Hardy, Kayla (Jerad) Ruth and Jackson Hardy; and his great-great-grandson, Finn Ruth.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ida and William Hardy; two sisters, Velma (Russell) Henderson and Audrey Hardy; and great-grandson, Colton Hardy.