Julie Hardesty, Chana, Illinois
Julie Hardesty, age 79, passed away on Saturday, August 12, 2023, at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital after a short illness. She was born on September 30, 1943, in La Junta, Colorado. Julie married E. Thomas Garman in 1962.
She was predeceased by her mother Bette, father Bill, sister Kathy, second husband Keith Gatz, and daughter, Dana.
Survivors include her loving husband of 26 years, Mike Hardesty, son, Scott Garman, granddaughter Julia Kurpiel, and stepson Jeremy Hardesty.
Julie taught high school in Oregon, Illinois for 30 years, making an impression on countless students. She was a tireless volunteer for many organizations. She adored her pets and found her greatest joy in helping others. Julie was a dedicated member of the Chana United Methodist church, where she enjoyed delivering the children’s sermon. She was an avid reader and a talented seamstress. Julie also enjoyed knitting, embroidery, and other crafts, and sharing her creations with loved ones.
Visitation is planned for Thursday, August 17, 2023, at Farrell Holland Gale funeral home in Oregon, Illinois from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. The funeral service will be held at Chana United Methodist Church at 11:00 a.m. on Friday August 18, 2023. If you are not able to attend the services in person the Chana United Methodist Church would like you to join via livestream. The link to the church's Facebook page is below. A luncheon will be held after the service. A private burial will follow.
Please follow the link below to watch the livestream on the Church's Facebook page.
Memorial donations can be made to Serenity Hospice, Oregon, Illinois.
Eulogy given by her son, Scott Garman:
I am Scott Garman, Julie’s son. With your encouragement and God’s grace I will be able to share this message I have prepared for today. Thank you all for being here today to celebrate the life of Julie. She was an exceptional woman. Before I continue, I want to thank all of you who were so supportive of us in the last two weeks. Every call, message, and hug gave us the strength to move forward to do our best to help her in her last days. I also want to thank the team at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital who took such attentive and empathetic care for her. They are all examples of God working through the skilled experts in the healthcare field. Julie was raised in Colorado but has been deeply rooted in Ogle County for over fifty years. Her home life as a child was not ideal, but as her friend Becky from the first grade will soon tell you, she still had a great childhood with her treasured friends. For decades many of them would get together every year and carry on as if time had never advanced—meeting up for their slumber parties. The “bag ladies.” Mom was always creative, working with her hands like her mother, Bette, on projects like cross stitch, embroidery, knitting, and flower arranging. Is there anyone here who hasn’t received a scarf, an angel, or cotton kitchen scrubber made with her loving hands and given personally to you? She was like that—giving a little something to everyone every day. She volunteered at Hospice for so long that records from the early days don’t exist. Probably 40 years, I would say. She married early, which happily produced my sister Dana and then me. Hooray! We didn’t have much, but we had a very happy childhood. We were so loved and mostly well behaved, and we lacked nothing. She said we were her greatest and proudest achievement. Being our mom. Julie found love again and again. She was lucky that way. She loved Keith, and he her. She loved Mike, and he loved her so very much. They were best friends for 26 years. When her granddaughter Julia arrived, her love expanded immeasurably. It reminds me of the scene in the original Grinch movie—her heart expanding beyond anything that could be imagined. John 13:34: A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. She touched so many people’s lives. She was outgoing, friendly, funny, and talented. But when I think of her defining gifts it is generosity and kindness that come to the forefront. It drove her absolutely crazy when I told her I didn’t want or need anything for Christmas. She was always sending a card, calling, or texting someone who needed a lift. She loved making things for people and giving things away. She did countless things large and small to help the ones she loved. Hebrews 13:16 “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” It seems to me that she had knack for making friends, and more importantly, keeping them. How did she do that? I don’t think gregarious is the right word for her. It was her openness and kindness that brought people into her orbit. Once they were there, she kept them there with her humor, love, and by helping them. Fred Rogers, more commonly known as Mr. Rogers said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” That reminds me of my mom. She loved a bargain and couldn't help telling friends (not to mention complete strangers) that the blouse she just received a compliment on cost her a quarter at a garage sale. She was thrifty from her early life of not having much, but she was always generous with others. A story: Mom was with us in Italy, and we took her to a fantastic store featuring fashionable leather coats. She fell in love with a coat which you all have seen—brown and black—she really looked great in that coat. We had to push her so hard to spend that money on herself. She eventually relented and bought it and loved it. David reminded me that was the same trip where she found a bracelet on the train station floor. She gave it to Dana as a gift and said she picked her up something special. Dana didn't see her find it. That was my mom. There’s another story from that trip about her carrying around a purse full of garbage… I could go on and on, but I’ll start wrapping this up. All of us are devastated that she left us so suddenly. Nothing prepares one for something like this. But here we are. Grief grows where love flourishes. I am sad, but not angry or bitter. I hope the same for you. We all loved her so. I had the pleasure and honor of being her son and having her as my mom for a wonderful 57 years. It is strange that I think of her as my mom, and Dana’s Mom and Julia’s grandmother and Mike’s wife. But it turns out she was everyone’s. We all had Julie Hardesty on this beautiful earth for many, many years. And for that we all should give thanks to God. She provided an example that I know I can learn from. Probably all of us. Hebrews 10:23-24: “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good works. To Julie, Mom, Nana, Friend, Teacher, Wife, I ask you to repeat her frequently repeated words taken from Roy Rogers. I ask you all to wish her “Happy trails. Happy trails to you, ‘til we meet again.”