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Dale Hardy

Dale Hardy, age 81, of Willmar, died Saturday morning, June 6, at Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 1 p.m. Thursday, June 11, at the Church of St. Mary in Willmar. A private interment will be in the church cemetery with military honors provided by Austin F. Hanscom American Legion Post #167 of Willmar. Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, June 10, at Peterson Brothers Funeral Home in Willmar (www.petersonbrothers.com) and one hour prior to the service at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Rice Hospice.
Dale Hardy was born March 17, 1934, in Walhalla, North Dakota, the son of H.P. and Amanda (Hermann) Hardy. He grew up in Walhalla and graduated from WCAS High School in Park River, North Dakota in 1952. He was a pitcher in semi-pro baseball for a short time. Dale served in the U.S. Army stateside during the Korean War. Following his discharge, he attended the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.
On December 28, 1957, he married his high school sweetheart, Jacqueline Rengle, and they lived in Grand Forks. In 1959, they moved to Willmar and Dale began working for John Rice at Willmar Air Service. He worked as a charter pilot and flight instructor and also sold planes. In the summers, he operated his crop dusting business, Willmar Aerial Spraying. In 1971, he began managing the Olivia Airport and operating Willmar Aerial Spraying full-time. He continued working as a crop duster until his retirement in his early 70's. Dale was a member of the Church of St. Mary, the American Legion, the "Geezer" golf group, and the Owls Club. He was a member and past-president of the Minnesota Aerial Applicators Association. Dale had a love of flying and obtained his pilot's license at age 16. He enjoyed traveling and went on many cruises and wintered in Mesa, Arizona for 20 years. He also enjoyed being outdoors, especially if he was golfing, fishing, hunting, or spending time with his family. He was a loving husband, father, grandpa, and great-grandpa and will be truly missed.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Jackie; his children, Tim (and Mindy) Hardy of Willmar, Brian Hardy of Mesa, AZ, Karen Hardy of Spring Lake Park, and Jeff Hardy (and Lisa Johnson) of Coon Rapids, MN; three grandchildren, Nathan (and Beth) Hardy, Katie (and Josh) Henslin, and Rachel Hardy; three great-grandchildren, Abigail, Rebekah, and Mason, and Baby Hardy on the way; a sister-in-law, Penny Hardy of Mesa, AZ; and other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Warren and Richard; and a sister-in-law, Marguerite.

Cemetery Details

St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery
1459 15th St. SW
Willmar, MN,


JUN 10. 05:00 PM - 07:00 PM

Peterson Brothers Funeral Home

700 Becker Avenue Southwest

Willmar, MN, US, 56201


JUN 11. 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM

Church of St. Mary

713 12th Street SW

Willmar, MN, US, 56201


Mass of Christian Burial

JUN 11. 01:00 PM

Church of St. Mary

713 12th Street SW

Willmar, MN, US, 56201


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Peace, Prayers & Blessings - Blue and White was purchased for the family of Dale Hardy.

June 07, 2015 at 06:07 PM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

We will miss you, Dale. You were always a great friend and professional competitor. We always enjoyed your company when you came of to Hector to work. Also, the West Central Chemical trips were so much more fun when you and Jackie were along. We hope you enjoy your new Angel wings, you deserve them. Ed and Connie Newberg.......

Ed & Connie Newberg - June 09, 2015 at 07:43 PM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

Dale was one of the kindest men on earth. I will always be grateful for the time we spent with him. He was a great mentor and friend, always willing to answer any question I had when growing up. Many time's passing along words of wisdom that I will never forget. I lost my Dad when I was 18 years old. Very often I looked to Dale to find answers to the hard questions in life. He most often would have the answer. We will miss you Dale.My best to the Hardy Family. Chuck Schweiss

Chuck Schweiss - June 09, 2015 at 07:34 AM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

Florist Choice Bouquet was purchased for the family of Dale Hardy.

June 09, 2015 at 10:01 AM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

Dish Garden with Fresh Cut Flowers was purchased for the family of Dale Hardy.

June 09, 2015 at 04:10 PM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

Shirley Schurtz, Tim and Julie Hanson, Chris and Mary Hanson purchased the Dish Garden with Fresh Cut Flowers for the family of Dale Hardy.

Shirley Schurtz, Tim and Julie Hanson, Chris and Mary Hanson - June 09, 2015 at 04:19 PM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

Fields of Europe for Spring was purchased for the family of Dale Hardy.

June 10, 2015 at 09:01 AM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

My dad, Pat Maiers, was a good friend of Dale's, and his daughter, Karen, is a good friend of mine. My brother, Rick, just reminded me of the time Karen went to the drive-in movie with my family when we first moved to town--9th grade (Superman, and Oh, God). Our entire family fell asleep in the car, while Karen sat squeezed in between us watching the movies. How uncomfortable that must have been! Sorry, Karen! :) Ironic that Dale and Pat both died the same week. Their birthdays, too, were within a week of each other, always giving them a reason to celebrate St. Patrick's Day together! With them being golf partners for many years, Karen and I believe that they were probably up to something-- had an important tee time in Heaven this week. My dad taught us an important golf shot, called the "Dale Hardy shot," which I use often, and passed on to my son, Geoffrey. When we were in Arizona one year, Geoffrey had the opportunity to golf with Dale. He was honored to finally meet and golf with Dale Hardy, who, in his eyes, was one of the golf legends, having had a shot named after him! He was surprised when he found out the famous Dale Hardy was actually one of Grandpa Pat's best friends! Thanks, Dale, for being a great friend to my dad and our family. I will think of you every time I'm playing a round of golf, because I inevitably will need to use the "Dale Hardy shot" several times. For those of you who don't know, the signature shot is using a driver to keep the ball low to get out of the trees. If there are trees, I always find them! Dale, I hope you and Pat are making up for all those missed rounds of golf over the past few years. I know he and Judy really missed spending time with you in Arizona this year. We will miss you!So sorry for your loss, Karen, Jackie, Jeff, Brian, Tim. Wishing you many loving memories! Love, Linda Maiers (and Geoffrey & Chad Griepentrog)

Linda Maiers - June 10, 2015 at 01:54 PM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

32 years ago Dale gave me my first flying job. I have so many fond memories of Dale and the rest of the Hardy family that summer and years after. He was a special man full of life and character that I will never forget. Steve Rhodes, Anchorage AK

Steve Rhodes - June 11, 2015 at 12:39 AM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

I have known Dale most of my life. I remember how he used to tease me when I would come into the airport to see mom. You all were like family. Thank you for all the great memories! I am so very sorry and know that I think of you all. Dale was known and loved by many!! God bless you!

Laurie Maresch - June 11, 2015 at 09:42 AM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM