Cary News: Obituaries

Charles "Charlie" Alva Hardie Sr.

Charlie Hardie went to be with the Lord on Monday February 16th at Woodland Terrace in Cary NC. Charlie was born on Jan. 26th 1921 in Campinas Brazil to Katherine and Alva Hardie, a Presbyterian Minister to Brazil for over 40 years. Charlie was the youngest of 4 siblings and attended a Brazilian school where he learned to speak fluent Portuguese, while his mother taught him English studies at home. At the age of 16, the Brazilian government would have been able to draft Charlie into military service because he had dual citizenship, but it was decided that he would be sent to the US to attend McCallie Military School in Chattanooga Tennessee. It was his first trip to the United States. After prep school his parents naturally assumed that the ministry was the next step, therefore, he enrolled at Davidson College. Charlie had other ideas and wanted to be a mechanical engineer and transferred to State College in Raleigh. His mother commented upon hearing the news that she could not imagine him driving a train. All was soon understood and forgiven and Charlie would often meet his parents in Montreat North Carolina which was the headquarters of the Presbyterian Church and a frequent furlough destination for field missionaries. It was in Montreat that he met his future wife and lifelong companion Barbara Moors Hand while she attended Montreat Anderson College. Charlie and Barbara married in her home town of Chadbourn NC, on August 31, 1944.

Charlie enlisted in the Navy before he and Barbara married. He served on a merchant tanker with a gun crew which was sunk by a Japanese sub in the gulf. He spent 16 hours in the water before a PBY spotted him and radioed a patrol boat to pick him up. Charlie could recount that experience in detail up until his death. He was given leave and returned to Montreat for some R & R, where he slept for almost 24 hours. He was then assigned to duty back in Brazil, which he recounted as a great post, as a translator after a Navy officer realized that he spoke Portuguese. After the war Charlie graduated from State College and he and Barbara relocated to Taccoa, Ga. where he worked as an engineer with a heavy machinery company. In the late fifties they moved to Athens Ga. where they raised their 3 children. After many wonderful years in Athens, Charlie and Barbara were called by the lord to return to Montreat. They bought a "fixer upper", and Charlie worked in Asheville with Taylor Instruments and then later for Square D company. Montreat was an extremely fulfilling experience for Charlie and Barbara and the children. In 1971 the family moved 2 houses down the street to "Wonderland", an original Montreat house built in 1913 by a music teaching couple, and was owned by a cousin. Charlie put many days and hours of work into Wonderland and the house remains in the family today as a tremendous source of pride. Charlie was an active member of Montreat Presbyterian Church and was a volunteer in a program called Second Loaf to repurpose leftover food from conference groups. he was a lifelong volunteer and donor to Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministries.

Charlie was a huge NC State Wolfpack fan and cherished his basketball championship memorabilia that adorned his office (hideout) walls. He was an avid reader up until his death and did the daily crossword puzzle everyday, averaging about 20 minutes except on Sundays where he might take an hour.

Charlie was predeceased by his wife Barbara, his oldest daughter Sandra, his brother Hugh,his sister Lucita and Son in law, Jim Wise. He is survived by his sister Helen Smith of Orlando Fla., daughter Kathie Wise of Cullowhee NC, Son and daughter in law, Al and Mary Beth Hardie of Cary NC, grandchildren; Chas Wise, Matthew and Sarah Hardie. Charlie will be laid to rest in Chadbourn NC. Many thanks from the family to the wonderful staff at Woodland Terrace and to Transitions Hospice for all their help.