Ruth Hardy

Obituary of Ruth L. (Barton) Hardy

Well…she made it to ninety-one.    Ruth was born on Wednesday, September 7, 1927 in her grandmother’s house in High Woods (Ulster County), and being from High Woods is part of what made her tough. It’s the sticks…brown bear and woodchuck country. Ruth and her parents, Willard and Hilda Heiser (Bill and Polly to their friends) lived there for a while, but eventually left out to the city (Kinston).  Being a Depression era baby is another thing that made her tough.  She was born two years prior.  She was about seven when they moved to Pough-keepsie. After living in a rented apart-ment for a few years, her parents bought some land that used to be part of an old farm in the Town of Poughkeepsie and built their house,  the second one on the street (actually a cow path), although ‘house’ is probably overstating it, too.  It was a one room shack on stilts, and an outhouse.  Eventually, post-Depression, they added more rooms and put a foundation under it.  It was a family project.  They built it themselves.  That  made her tough.

As soon as she was old enough to get a job, that’s what she did.  Ruth did everything.  Her first job was at one of the ‘dime stores’ on Main Street in Poughkeepsie.  She worked at a handbag factory, she sold pots and pans, she was a ‘skip tracer’, she was a bad debt collector for a local department store and, later, a contractor supply.  Back in the day, she helped her father, a furnace repairman (these days they call them ‘heating technicians’) in his work.  She worked, she worked, she worked.   She was a faithful wife to Albert G. Barton and a dutiful mother to her son, Willard (who prefers to be called ‘Bill’ because when she called him ‘Willard’, it was always in a stern tone of voice and followed by a middle name).  Al built the house they lived in right next door to her parents.

Years after Al died, she met another wonderful man, Robert C. Hardy, and his three children, Robert, Jr., Shirley, and Scott.  After a few years of ‘just making sure’, Bob and Ruth got married.  And what a marriage it was!  They did everything together and she was lost when he died.  So, for about seven years, she’d been living alone.  “I don’t want anybody living with me”, she often said, although that wouldn’t have been a bad thing.  Antiquity was catching up to her.  She had difficulty sleeping…unless she was in her living room chair trying to watch a television show.  And she hurt all the time.  She had difficulty walking, even with her ‘stick’ (cane).  But, she never lost her spunk or her sense of humor.  Her parents had decades ago predeceased her, as well as all of her aunts and uncles…and all but two of her cousins: Jean Young, who lives somewhere in Georgia, and Eugene Heitzman in Kingston.  She was ready.  She said so.

Ruth is also survived by her son, Willard L. Barton (Bill) and his wife, Nancy;  step-sons, Robert C. Hardy and Scott M. Hardy; step-daughter, Shirley J. Andrews and her husband, Jim; several grand-children and a few great-grandchildren,  nieces and nephews; former daughter-in-law, Joanell Allocca, step-grandson, David R. Logan and his wife, Maria.  I hope I didn’t leave anybody out.

Anyway, Ruth is now under the care of the Timothy Doyle Funeral Home, 371 Hooker Avenue, Poughkeepsie.  You can visit her on Friday, October 5th, between 5 and 9 pm.  There will be a service on Saturday, October 6th at the funeral home at 11:00 am with interment at the Fishkill Rural Cemetery.  After that, we’ll go someplace for lunch.  Well, that’s all for now.