Cover photo for John Hardie's Obituary
John Hardie Profile Photo
1935 John 2011

John Hardie

October 2, 1935 — September 1, 2011

John Lester Hardie, age 75, passed away Sept. 1, 2011, in Davis, and with him passed a great deal of the institutional memory of the UC Davis campus. He was an administrator at both the Davis campus and the UC Davis Medical Center. Born in Modesto to Margaret C. and Donald M. Hardie, he lived from birth to high school graduation on a dairy farm. The family also grew peaches, nuts and grapes. He and his sister Mary Jane (Mimi) sold fruit by the road during the summer. Despite constantly milking the cows, John found outlets for his skills as a public speaker and leader. He was active in Future Farmers and his Jersey cow won championship of her breed in Modesto. He was on a first place FFA milk judging team and was the winner of the regional speaking competition in San Francisco. A high school swimming accident put him in a body cast for four months. He emerged with a resolve and a "no-complaints attitude" he used his whole life. In 1953 he left high school to attend UC Davis originally intending to become a farm advisor. At Davis he joined the Theta Xi fraternity and ROTC, became chairman of Rally Committee, student body president (he won the Picnic Day cow milking contest, of course) and had the good fortune to be mentored by many of the people for whom campus buildings are now nameda�"Ed Voorhies, Fred Wyatt, Maynard Amerine, Ed Roessler, Dr. Tom Cooper and Barbara and Turrentine Jackson. It was Professor Jackson who turned him into an American Civilization major. After graduation, he spent six months active duty in the Army at Fort Knox, Ky., and 7 A½ years in the Reserve. He was honorably discharged as a reserve armor officer with the rank of captain. He worked for Shell Oil for a year but in fall of 1960 he was hired as Business Manager for the student association at UC Davis. The campus was making its transition from a small, agriculturally oriented institution to a large, complex general campus. By 1963, John's responsibilities included development, alumni affairs, ceremonies, commencements, events, official entertainment, protocol, governmental relations, external promotional publications and public relations. In 1982 he was given the Fielder Award, Alumnus of the Year. He held many titles and was Assistant to two chancellors: Emil Mrak and James Meyer. He also was director of UC Davis' first capital campaign project (Recreation Hall Campaign) 1973-1976 and directed UCD's 75th Anniversary Program, 1982-1984. John authored UC Davis' Comprehensive Development Plan, University Relations Plan, Public Communications Plan and helped produce numerous early campus publications. In 1990 John served as special assistant to the Director, Medical Director and Associate Director for Medical Sciences Development at the UC Davis Medical Center. He found the same energy at UCDMC that he loved so much on the general campus and was always extremely proud of the university. He and Marylee would attend many events and help "fly the flag" for the university. As a Med Center rep he was on the board and was the first CFO of CARES the first local organization to consolidate services for AIDS patients into one building in Sacramento. Although he found it hard to slow down, summer with family at Lake Tahoe was his favorite vacation especially early-morning water skiing and donuts. His love of the campus extended to athletics and its football program. From 1960- 2006 John was the volunteer Aggie football timekeeper. He ran the official clock for the Aggies at Toomey Field starting at a table on the sidelines with a stopwatch to the last game before the move to the new stadium. He was a proud member and past president of Davis Rotary and one of the official slicers at the annual Rotary Turkey BBQ. A great joy was being a member of the Bohemian Club in San Francisco. His passion for the dramatic and behind-the-scenes planning led him to help manage the opening ceremony of the Summer Encampment for 25 years. John grew up and flourished with the UC Davis campus. Its faculty and friends opened up the world of fine arts and music to this country boy from Modesto and he loved every minute of it. John is survived by his wife of almost 45 years, Marylee; their two children, Chris Mullally, and Douglas Hardie and his wife Winnie; three grandchildren, Zamira and Connor Mullally, and Aila Hardie and her soon-to-be-born baby brother; his sister Mary Jane and her husband Bob Friedberger; his brother-in-law Byron Butler and wife Amy; and a total of five nieces and their families. A memorial will begin at 4 p.m. Sept. 17, at the Davis Community Church, 412 C St. In lieu of flowers contributions to the Davis Chancellor's Club (UC Regents) may be sent to One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, or a donation to the Walter Rohrer Scholarship Fund (UC Regents) may be sent to UC Davis Health Sciences Advancement, 4900 Broadway, Suite 1150, Sacramento, CA 95820.

Previous Events

Saturday, September 17, 2011
Davis Community Church

412 C Street
Davis, CA 95616

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Hardie, please visit our flower store.


Visits: 2

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree