Kenneth Robert Hardyman, age 94 of the Lafayette Manor in Darlington, formerly of Blanchardville, died on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at the Lafayette Manor surrounded by family. He was born on March 16, 1926 in the family farmhouse on County F, Fayette Township to Robert and Elsie (McWilliams) Hardyman. He attended Yellowstone grade school, two years at Darlington High School and his final two years at Blanchardville High School where he graduated in 1943. He farmed with his parents until he married Elaine Schaffner on June 13, 1953 at St. Matthews Catholic Church in Shullsburg. They moved into a farmhouse on County F next to the family farm where they lived until 1960 when they and their four small children moved to a house on Maple St. in Blanchardville. A fifth child was born in 1961 and two years later a fire in May of 1963 forced the family to the Hardyman homestead farm until they found a house on School St. in Blanchardville where they raised their five children and he resided until August of 2019. He spent one year working at Oscar Meyer and than 30 years at General Motors in Janesville where he retired in 1985.
He spent a great deal of time in his garden, walking the three miniature Schnauzers (Fritzie, Mitzie, and Sadie), working crossword puzzles, fishing, hunting and other outdoor activities. He enjoyed playing cards and watching other people play cards. His greatest joy was playing golf with his wife Elaine as they were members at one time at both Edelweiss Country Club in New Glarus and Yellowstone Golf Club in rural Argyle. In their retirement years they also attended numerous Home Talent games, fastpitch softball games, and than watching their grandchildren play in various athletic competitions. He became a big fan of cross country and track as his second son was the head coach for many years. In 1990, after a letter was submitted by his oldest daughter Theresa to the Wisconsin State Journal, he was chosen as one of 10 individuals who make a difference in their communities. He drove his three granddaughters and a number of other young children in Blanchardville to and from preschool giving parents a boost in a town with no public transportation. He was a member of St. Isidore Parish and a past member of St. Michael's Catholic Church in rural Blanchardville.
Kenneth is survived by his five children, Mark Hardyman (friend Kerri Geis) of DeForest, Patrick Hardyman of Blanchardville, Theresa Heller of Brodhead, Tim Hardyman of Rochester, Minnesota, and Ann (Darrell) Vamstad of Blanchardville; one sibling William (Karen) Hardyman of Fort Myers, Florida; eleven grandchildren, Michelle Hardyman, Stephanie (Kurt) Peck, Brittany (Brenton) Nelson, Megan (Nolan Kerkhoff) Heller, Rachel Heller, Dylan Hardyman, Taryn Hardyman, Ciera Hardyman, Rebecca Vamstad, Angela (Sam) Moyer, and Samantha Vamstad; five great grandchildren, Kai Kerkhoff, Makenna Peck, Reece Peck, Braxton Nelson, and Baylor Nelson; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and in-laws. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Elaine in 2017, two brothers Michael and James, one sister Lenore, and a still born son in 1955.
Due to the current quarantine, a private Mass of Christian Burial was held on Monday, March 23, 2020 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Blanchardville. Fr. Paul Eruva officiated. Burial was in the St. Michael’s Catholic Cemetery in rural Blanchardville. A public visitation and Mass of Christian Burial will be held at a later time. Saether Funeral Service of Blanchardville is assisting the family. Online memories and condolences can be shared with the family at www.saetherfuneralservice.com.
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