Kenneth R. Hardy
Lincolnville — Kenneth R. Hardy, 83, passed away Sept. 15, 2016, at EMMC in Bangor. He was born Sept. 25, 1932, in Camden and was the son of Ruth and George Hardy of Lincolnville.
Ken attended Camden High School, where he was a great skier and varsity baseball player, maintaining a batting average of more than .500 and playing shortstop. He and classmates Sonny Goodwin and Mickey Christie often made the first ski tracks down the Camden Snow Bowl’s “main slope” after a snowstorm.
Upon graduation in 1951, Ken enlisted in the Air Force and after basic training in Texas, served at Ramey Air Force Base in Puerto Rico, working as an aircraft mechanic on B-26 planes. He was joined there by his high school sweetheart, Carole Thomas, and they were married in 1953, enjoying a “two-year honeymoon” in Puerto Rico before returning home to Camden in 1955. His parents even shipped his 1936 hot rod to the island for him to enjoy drag-racing while stationed there.
He worked at the Camden Shipyard as a carpenter and fabricator for several years before being hired as the general manager of the Camden Snow Bowl, where he oversaw the first expansion of the ski area and the addition of its first T-bar and chairlift. He took great pride in ensuring the ski trails were always groomed to perfection, whatever the snow conditions. Everyone who worked with him at the Snow Bowl, the ladies selling lift tickets, the kitchen staff, the lift operators, and the ski patrol members, all loved him. He would never leave the mountain until the last child had been picked up and was safely on their way home, and many of his 12-hour days at the Snow Bowl would end with a visit to the hospital to check on anyone who had gotten a ski injury that day. He was a past president of the Ski Maine Association.
In the late '70s, he was hired as the mountain manager for Squaw Mountain in Greenville, and spent 13 years there, developing many close friends in the Greenville area. In good weather, he often commuted from Megunticook Lake to Moosehead Lake in his beloved yellow Piper Cub seaplane, christened “My Sin.” He loved taking friends and visitors up in his plane at any opportunity, and many remember their flights over Megunticook Mountain and Penobscot Bay. Ken also loved fast cars, and raced his prized 1969 GTO at the Winterport Dragway, winning many trophies. His last muscle car was a T-topped Corvette Stingray.
His final job before retirement was working as a heavy machinery operator for Laite Construction in Camden. He enjoyed working with his former classmate Parker Laite and his son, Chip.
Ken was a registered Maine Guide, and in his earlier years, was an avid hunter, spending many hours in the woods with his son, Kerry, and imparting his love of the local woods, lakes and mountains to all his children. Ken and his father, George, were on the work crew that put up the replacement cross on Maiden’s Cliff in Lincolnville after a storm blew down the original cross. They also built and hand-lettered the original Lincolnville World War II Veteran’s Memorial.
Ken loved fishing on Megunticook Lake, often with his faithful dogs, Tanner and Joey, who loved watching the “catch-and-release” process. He was a longtime member of the Megunticook Watershed Association and often entered and won local fishing derbies. Some of his favorite times were spent sitting in his favorite chair on the porch of his home on the lake, sharing stories with family and friends.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Carole T. Hardy; daughters Cathy Hardy of Lincolnville and St. Croix, USVI, Kerry Hardy of Lincolnville, Karen Hardy of Stockton Springs, Kristi Hardy-Gilson and her husband, Douglas Gilson ,of Lincolnville; a sister, Elinor Beloin, and her husband, Norman, of North Billerica, Mass.; his grandchildren Thomas Hardy of Lincolnville, Ewan Hardy of Rockport and Lydia Hardy of Lynn, Mass., Jaclyn Gilson and Trajan Gilson of Lincolnville, Brittany Oettinger and her husband, Nick, of Winterport and Cameron Prescott of Orono; a niece, Janet Bowen, and her husband, Kevin, of Westford, Mass.; and nephew Robert Beloin and his wife, Sopor, of Chelmsford, Mass.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lincolnville Veteran’s Memorial Park, c/o Lincolnville Town Office, 493 Hope Road, Lincolnville, ME 04849. Condolences may be shared with the Hardy family at longfuneralhomecamden.com.
Calling hours will be 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, at Long Funeral Home, 9 Mountain St., Camden. There will be a graveside service for the family and close friends at 11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, at the Youngtown Cemetery in Lincolnville.