December 11, 1946 - June 11, 2023
In loving memory ~
Rick Hardy passed away unexpectedly on June 11 in Kelowna General Hospital with his loving family at his side.
Rickie (Rick) Arlen Hardy was born in Kelowna, BC on December 11, 1946. He was the third-born child of Archie and Ellen Hardy's five children. Rick grew up milking cows and growing hay on the family farm on Harvey Ave. Being a hard worker, he also worked on the neighbor's farms to make extra money. His Mom passed away when he was seven years old, a loss that was with him throughout his life.
Rick broke into the construction industry as a young man and immediately made a name for himself as a talented back-hoe operator. He worked as a cat-skinner, building some of the first runs on Big White Ski Hill. His hard work and dedication to quality, helped him work his way up in the industry. In his career, Rick ran large projects including the building of the Quintette Coal tailings dam, rebuilding a section of highway into the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, building all phases of the Coquihalla highway, building 9km of highway through the Kicking Horse Canyon from 10 Mile Hill to the Alberta border, and plowing in fiber optics from the B.C. coast to Ottawa. His reputation for production and getting large projects done right and completed on time took him throughout B.C., across Canada, and into the Northwestern United States, California, Nevada, and Georgia.
Rick believed that having good and talented people, alongside well-maintained equipment was the key to getting the job done. Rick was a leader and loved to teach anyone willing to learn. Rick's focus on safety was awarded throughout his career. His mark is left in the hundreds of miles of highways built, thousands of kilometres of fiber optic cables buried and millions of cubic meters of aggregate crushed and screened.
Rick met and married the love of his life, Rae, in Kelowna in March of 1971. In 1979, Rick was hired to build the new highway between Cranbrook and Kimberly and fell in love with the Rocky Mountains. After years of following work around the province, they settled in Cranbrook to raise their young family of five children.
Over the years, Rick enjoyed having his children work alongside him on various projects. In 2005, he bought his first excavator and, together with two of his sons and many talented operators, built Rick Hardy Construction Services Ltd.
Rick always put his family first. He often said he was a lucky man because of the family he had. He loved holidays with everybody home. He always made a point of showing up for the sporting events and special occasions of his children and grandchildren. He was the loudest cheerer. He loved music, singing, and dancing with Rae. He was a storyteller and loved a good laugh. He always told stories of the great people he had met over the years and throughout his career.
In his later years, Rick looked forward to his daily phone calls with his brother Bruce in Kelowna. Researching his family heritage was a passion of his. He was a regular with the Gold Creek coffee crew. He kept busy with the upkeep of his home. He loved travelling to Maui every year and spending time with family and friends. Rick was an avid rock collector, sometimes bringing home rocks so large that he needed a machine to get them out of the truck. He displayed them along his driveway and had a few smaller ones added to his fireplace.
Rick is survived by Rae, his wife of 52 years, his children Patrick, Sean (Sandy, Steven, Sheldon, and Samantha), Micheil (Roslynd and Hilde), Alison (Craig, Madeline, Amelia, and Eleanor), Jeremy (Kristen and Buster), and a large extended family.
Rick was predeceased by his parents Archie and Ellen Hardy, his brother Walt, and his sister Joy.
Rick will be laid to rest in the Hardy Cemetery, which is part of the original dairy farm he grew up on. A celebration of life will take place on Saturday, August 26th, 2023 at 2pm at McPherson Funeral Home in Cranbrook.
In Lieu of flowers, memorial donation in Rick's honour may be made to the Cranbrook Salvation Army.
For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
the flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.