James Carroll Hardin age 80 of Meridian, passed away on Monday, August 27, 2018 at his home after a short illness. James was born on October 18, 1937 in Waco, Texas. He was the son of Rev. W.D. Hardin and Maggie Ruth Hardin. He is survived by three brothers, John, Ben, and Paul Hardin. He is also survived by three sisters, Betty Calk, Deborah Bracey, and Rachel Harborth. James married Wanda Rice of Meridian on August 15, 1959.
James graduated from Walnut Springs High School in 1955 and went on to pursue higher education. He graduated from Tarleton State College with his Associate's of Arts, and then North Texas State University, now the University of North Texas, with his Master's of Education. James began his long career in education as a 5th and 6th grade teacher in Walnut Springs. He was a long-time and beloved educator who filled many roles including: county education supervisor and a professor of English at Hill Junior College. He was principal of Meridian Elementary from the early 1970's until the 1990's. After retiring from school administration, he was a professor in Baylor University's Department of Education and Region 12 Educational Service Center. James was a teacher of teachers and supervised countless educators across the state. His legacy as an educator will live on through the lives of students he taught and those teachers he trained and supervised.
James was an active member of the Meridian United Pentecostal Church and served on the board since the founding of the church. He was an accomplished singer and pianist who loved to serve the Lord with his talents. He taught, spoke, and ministered frequently. James was very active in his local community and civic organizations. James founded the Bosque Valley Arts and Crafts Festival, which was a launching point for many local events such as the Annual National BBQ Cook-off and Christmas on the Bosque. For all of his years of excellent service to the community, James received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Meridian Chamber of Commerce in 2017. During his lifetime, James and his wife Wanda were the owners of several local businesses including Clifton Floral, the Webb-Hardin Warehouse, Meridian Laudromat, and Rose Hill Terrace B&B, once featured nationally by the Associated Press.
James is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Wanda Rice Hardin; sons, Barry Todd Hardin and wife, Lisa, of Beaumont, Brian Joseph Hardin and wife, Kristy, of Meridian; daughter-in-law, Gayla Hardin of Lufkin; grandchildren, Joshua Hardin of Conroe, Lindsey Hardin of Nederland, Texas, Macey Hardin of New Caney, Texas, Kayln Hardin Marlette and husband, Nathan, of Carrollton, Alexander Hardin of Houston, Brenndon Hardin of Burlington, Ontario, Canada; many nieces, nephews, cousins, and countless friends.
Preceded in death by his parents, Rev. W.D. and Maggie Ruth Hardin; and son, Rev. Gregory Kyle Hardin.
Funeral services are going to be 10 A.M., Friday, August 31, 2018 at the First United Pentecostal Church in Meridian. Bro. James Webb, Bro. Richard Creech, and Bro. Charles Johnson will officiate. Burial will be at the Meridian Memorial Cemetery on SH# 144. Visitation will be from 5:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M., Thursday, August 30, 2018 at the church. Pallbearers will be Alex Hardin, Joshua Hardin, Nathan Marlette, Josh Autery, Kent Hardin, Paul Harris, Sharon Callaway and George Smith.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to: Global Missions, 36 Research Park Court, Weldon Springs, MO 63304 Phone 636-229-7900 On the check please note Greg Hardin In Villa Nuvea and add the following account number GMMFB.240762.2110. A church in Costa Rica is being built in memory of James and Wanda's son, Rev.Gregory Kyle Hardin, who passed away on September 24, 2016.
Words of comfort and peace can be sent to the family at www.lawsonfuneralhome.net.
Arrangements were made by Lawson Funeral Home, Meridian, Texas 254-435-2792.