John Wendell Hard, M.D.

Monday, September 18, 2017

John Wendell Hard, M.D. passed away Sunday, September 10, 2017, at the age of 93. He was predeceased by the love of his life, Roselyn Barolet Hard; his first-born son, Stephen Ross Hard; and his son-in-law, Russell W Lewis. He is survived by his son, John D (Pam) Hard of Birmingham, Alabama; daughter, Laura H. Lewis of Lostine, Oregon; sisters, Mary Lou Herrin of Benton, Illinois and Sue Hard Phillips of Arlington, Washington; grandchildren, Jennifer (Gregg) Sealey of Spokane, Washington, Ryan Hard of Huntsville, Alabama and Justin and Andrea Hard of Birmingham, Alabama; and great grandchildren Max and Olivia Sealey of Spokane, Washington; and of course, his beloved dog, Jesse.

John lived a long and full life of 93 years. On July 5, 1944, he married the woman he loved deeply for 73 years, even though she passed away 7 months after their 50th wedding anniversary. His love for her continued to grow until the day he met her in heaven.

His mark on this world is immeasurable. John grew up in Reevesville, Illliois. He served in World War 2 as a B-17 co-pilot, flying out of the 100th Bomb Group (The Bloody Hundredth) in Thorpe Abbotts, England. He flew all 35 missions, completing his last on the day before he turned 21. His courage and character earned him his rightful place as one of the “greatest generation.”

After the war, he returned home and enrolled in Southern Illinois University. He then obtained his medical degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He practiced surgery in Metropolis, Illinois and Blytheville, Arkansas, and helped found and operate an emergency room practice with Dr. Stuart Bean in Birmingham, Alabama. His children grew up consistently hearing from his patients, “Your daddy saved my life!”

He was a faithful member of First Christian Church in Birmingham, and over the course of his life served in many capacities in both church and civic affairs. More than all of his accomplishments, he was known for his undying kindness and his capacity to genuinely love everyone he encountered.

A memorial service will be held in his honor at First Christian Church on Valleydale Road, Birmingham, Alabama at 2 p.m. on October 15. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to First Christian Church on Valleydale Road.