Martin Earl Hardy, of San Jose, California, passed away from natural causes on March 31, 2020.
The second of three sons, Martin was born to Vida (Earl) Hardy and Heber Merlin Hardy on April 3, 1927 in Las Vegas, Nevada. He became an Eagle Scout and participated in basketball and football at Las Vegas High School, winning state championships in both sports. After high school he enlisted in the Navy and became a naval Seaman in Monterey, California.
In 1946, Martin received a congressional appointment to the Naval Academy, graduating in 1950. Soon after, he entered flight school and upon completion joined a jet squadron aboard the USS Valley Forge flying the F9F Panther, the Navy’s first carrier-based jet, in the Korean War.
For three years after the war Martin was a flight instructor in Pensacola, Florida. There he met Kathryn who was serving in the US Navy WAVES. They were married in Pensacola in 1957.
The Navy took them to Guam in 1959 where Martin performed missions flying the F8U-1P to various carriers operating in the Pacific. He then returned to the Naval Academy to teach Electrical Engineering for three years, followed by an assignment to squadron VRF-31 in Norfolk, Virginia where he became commanding officer in 1966. He was then sent to Newport, Rhode Island where he graduated from the Naval War College with a MS in International Affairs. Based in San Diego, his last sea duty was in 1968 with Carrier Division One as the Air Operations Officer. His last shore assignment began in 1970 in Washington DC with Naval Air Systems Command.
Martin retired as a Commander USN in 1976, but continued working for the Navy. At night he attended George Washington University Law School and earned his JD degree. He passed the Virginia State Bar exam in 1979.
In 1991 he retired a second time and he and Kathryn moved to San Jose, California. He became a regular at the local gym and continued his fitness routine until recently. Martin’s most precious pastime was spending time with his wife and children. He loved the outdoors. He and Kathryn enjoyed exploring and hiking the California mountains and skiing with their family in Park City, Utah. Martin’s life was one of excellence, loyalty, courage, and service for others.
Martin is survived by his devoted wife of 62 years, Kathryn, and their five children, Susan Sutehall and husband John of Chicago, Illinois; James Hardy and wife Jin of Yorba Linda, California; Karen Stanford and husband John of Sugar Land, Texas; Mark Hardy and wife Kate of San Diego, California; and Anne Boris and husband Jon of Denver, Colorado, and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Martin will be interred at Gate of Heaven Catholic Cemetery in a private family service. Memorial gifts may be made, if so desired, to the Sequoia Hospital Foundation in Redwood City, California.
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Sequoia Hospital Foundation
Redwood City CA