‘Buzz’ Barker Hardy
Leesley “Buzz” Barker Hardy was born on July 6, 1928, and passed away on Nov. 8, 2016, at Saint John’s on the Lake. Buzz is predeceased by his parents, Earle W. and Ethel Barker Hardy; his son Jim and daughter Anne, and his sister Sally Hardy Eager. He is survived by his wife, Joan James Hardy; his brother-in-law L.
Prentice Eager, Jr. in Evansville; his niece Jennifer Eager Ehle, in Madison; and nephews L. Prentice (Eloise) Eager in Atlanta and David (Judy) Eager in Mequon. He is further survived by his brother-in-law Dwight W. James, his nephew Fred (Rose) James, his niece Laura James (Scott) Bandstra, all of Des Moines, Iowa, his nephew David (Susan) James of Carlisle, Iowa, niece Elizabeth James (Ross) Prather of Meadville, Penn., nephew Chris (Anne) James of West Des Moines, and many grand nieces and nephews.
He was a fourth-generation Waukesha resident. He attended Waukesha public schools and graduated from Deerfield Academy, Amherst College, and Northwestern Business School (now the Kellogg School). In 1952, during the Korean War, he enlisted in the Navy and graduated from Officers Candidate School in Newport, R.I. He was sent as an ensign to Hawaii as a communications officer on the staff of Admiral Radford, Cinc Pac. In September of 1952 he and Joan were married in the chapel at Makalapa (Pearl Harbor) and lived in Kahala at the foot of Diamond Head in Honolulu for a year. In 1953 Buzz was reassigned to the staff of a carrier division based on Coronado Island where son Jim was born.
In 1955, Buzz was released from active duty as a lt. j.g.
and returned to Waukesha to run the family abstract, real estate, and insurance business started by his grandfather in 1891. He became an environmentally correct real estate developer, creating subdivisions of homes and condominiums on Waukesha’s south and west sides, and creating industrial sites, including a 400-acre parcel of land north of the city for GE Medical Systems.
He was a founder of the Wisconsin Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in 1957 when daughter Anne was born with CF. He was a lifetime honorary trustee of the Carroll College (now University) board, a past board member of Waukesha Memorial Hospital, a past chair of the United Way Drive of Greater Waukesha while his wife was board chair, and past member of the Ice Age Trail Board. He was a behind-the-scenes fundraiser for many nonprofits, including the Ten Chimneys Foundation, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, La Casa de Esperanza, United Community Center, the Waukesha Land Conservancy and the Democratic Party.
He was a devoted husband, father, and friend, who loved fishing in Canada and at the family cottage in northern Wisconsin, and who fought to protect some of the last of the wooded wildlife area in Waukesha County.
In 1996 Buzz was stricken with bacterial meningitis.
Following his increasing disability he transitioned from golf to competitive bridge and to organizing discussion groups over social issues. He also very much enjoyed watching the Packers, Brewers, and Bucks with his friends.
For the last 10 years he was in intractable pain. He is now at peace. The family is grateful to Allay Hospice, to the Saint John’s staff, and to his many friends and colleagues who cared about and supported him.
The family will greet friends at St. John’s on the Lake in the Gallery, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 26. In lieu of flowers, those who wish to do so may send a donation to the Jim Hardy Fund for Mental Health at the Children’s Hospital Foundation, PO Box 1997, Milwaukee, WI 53201-1997; to the Waukesha Land Conservancy, N229 N1433 Westwood Drive, #104, Waukesha 53186, or to the Saint John’s Foundation,1840 No.
Prospect Ave., Milwaukee 53202.
Funeral Home in Shorewood, is serving the family, 414-962-8383,