OBITUARY: Defford “Dale” Hardee

Defford "Dale" Hardee

Defford “Dale” Hardee, Jr., born to Defford Dale Hardee, Sr., and Jayne Annette Carroll Hardee, in 1965 in Rock Hill, South Carolina, passed away on January 15, 2022, in Columbia, Tennessee.

Over the course of his life, Dale worked as an engineer at multiple Middle Tennessee companies, including Calsonic/Marelli for twenty years and most recently at Walker Diecast in Lewisburg, Tennessee.

He was a devoted and loving husband to his wife of nearly thirty-four years, Debbie Hardee, as well as a supportive and dedicated father to Tyler and Allison Hardee.

Dale was known for being a gentle giant, kind, dependable, hardworking, and loyal. An honorary Kentucky Colonel, as well as a 12th generation descendant of the Mayflower, he enjoyed working in his shop, solving multiple Rubik’s cubes, perfecting his meat-smoking techniques, and collecting key chains from his travels, domestic and abroad.

People were drawn to him for his playful nature, his sense of humor, and his big warm bear hugs. He had a generous spirit and would do anything for his family and others in need. A servant of God, he was selfless and giving to everyone in his life. Whether he was delivering care packages to the homeless and less fortunate or mentoring his colleagues at work, Dale was generous with his time and attention. Known for being the calming force in the room, he was laid back in nature and naturally put people at ease. He was a very real, authentic, genuine person- “What you see is what you get.”

Over the years, Dale and his family were connected in Christian fellowship at New Life Church in Columbia, Tennessee, Thompson Station Church in Thompson Station, Tennessee, Central Christian Church in Columbia, Tennessee, and The Gate in Franklin, Tennessee.

He is survived by his wife, Debbie Hardee, and his children Tyler and Allison Hardee. His extended family includes the Gordon and Lori Childs family of Lexington, Kentucky, the Keith and Karen Roark family of Georgetown, Kentucky, the Steve Kelley family of Somerset, Kentucky, the Allen and Lori Hoffman family of Rock Hill, South Carolina, the Jimmy and Stacy Hydrick family of Lancaster, South Carolina, and the Boulware family of Rock Hill, South Carolina. He also leaves behind many Hardee cousins in the Loris, South Carolina area.

Those who wish to pay their respects are gathering on Saturday, January 22, 2022, at Heritage Funeral Home in Columbia, Tennessee with a visitation from 12:00 – 2:00 PM and the funeral service beginning at 2:00 PM. He will be laid to rest in Maury Memorial Gardens. Pallbearers will be his son, Tyler Hardee, brother-in-law, Gordon Childs, nephew, Joshua Childs, brother-in-law, Keith Roark, brother-in-law, Steve Kelley, and cousin, Jimmy Hydrick. Honorary pallbearers will include his friends, Jonathan Quint and Jeff Musgrove.

If you would like to make a donation in his honor, please consider donating to Nashville Rescue Mission and/or Maury United Ministries of Columbia, Tennessee.

The family wishes to extend a very special thank you to the doctors, nurses, and staff at Maury Regional Medical Center who worked heroically and tirelessly to take care of Dale during this difficult time.

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