Robert (BOB) Hardin age 96, of Long Lake, MN passed away peacefully on Saturday November 26. Bob was born in Hibbing, MN to George Hardin and Julia (Birkeland) Hardin. Bob graduated from Hibbing High School in 1944 where he met the love of his life Janet Christofferson. Bob enlisted in the military and began his active duty in 1945. Bob and Janet were married in 1945 while Bob was on leave before his deployment to France and Germany. Bob and Janet were married 67 years when Janet passed in 2013.
Bob’s future as a salesman developed early in life from his first job delivering newspapers for the Duluth News Tribune, and selling his mother’s old used magazines door to door in the neighborhood for five cents each; until a neighbor called his mother to complain that Bob was selling old outdated magazines. Bob had many sales positions over the years. After returning to civilian life Bob worked for several newspapers in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Iowa before returning to Minnesota and buying a neighborhood grocery store in Minneapolis.
In 1955 Bob went to work for The Great Western Sugar Company. While there, Bob called on local retailers and set up product displays and oversaw company sales promotions. One of the promotional items included setting up a cotton candy machine from time to time. At times Bob would bring the cotton candy machine home, which created quite a neighborhood gathering.
While at Great Western, Bob was offered a sales position in Colorado. The family spent the next ten years enjoying the beauty of Colorado while Bob called on cattle ranchers selling bi-products of the refined sugar process. When Great Western was sold and the company dismantled, Bob took a sales position in 1967 with KEMIN Industries. His sales territory included MN, ND, SD, IA, and WI. In 1967 the family moved back to MN. At KEMIN Bob was once again selling animal nutrition and health products such as vitamins, flavorings, preservatives, and anti- oxidants. Bob semiretired from KEMIN in 1984, and later decided to return to work.
In 1987 Bob began working for the State of Minnesota as a Driver’s License Examiner, in Chaska. Bob retired from the state in 1992. Bob was a force of nature, determined to provide for his family and give them the life he
felt they deserved. His family meant more to him than anything in the world, something he often talked about. He was unendingly proud of his family and always credited Janet for raising such an amazing family.
As a boy, Bob learned his love for nature and spending time outdoors from his parents. No matter where he lived, Bob loved to hunt and fish, and took every opportunity to do so. Bob was a passionate volunteer. Spending 15 years volunteering at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, 20 plus years at the Wayzata American Legion, and many years on the Park Commission for the City of Long Lake. He could often be found cleaning up
one of the parks, trimming trees, planting shrubs, and removing Buckthorn in the park near their home; which was later named Hardin Park. Bob was a Mason since 1955. Bob was also directly involved in helping plan the Veterans Memorial in Long Lake.
All who knew Bob were aware he was the best father and husband a family could ask for. Bob was preceded in death by his parents George and Julia Hardin, and spouse Janet (Christofferson) Hardin. He is survived by brother Charles Hardin (Missouri) and sister Georgene Willeson (California); children Jacque Beeghly (Denver), Bob (Eileen) Hardin (Happy Jack, Arizona), Dave (Geri) Hardin (Denver), Glen (Eileen) Hardin
(Ramsey, MN) and Gayle Hardin Sievert (Mick) (Orono, MN); 13 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren, and 2 great-great grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews, church and community friends.
A special thank you to Bob’s care givers and visitors over the past years. The family requests memorials in lieu of flowers. A celebration of life is planned for
December 8 2022 at Calvin Presbyterian Church, 177 Glendale Drive, Long Lake, MN. Visitation at 10 am, with funeral at 11 am. Lunch to follow. Private internment at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery.
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