Tributes have poured in for a “truly inspirational” church leader, teacher and former Guardian reporter who passed away following a brave two-year battle with cancer.
Pete Hardy, who “touched the lives of hundreds of people” through his “invaluable” work at Poplars Church and 20 schools across the district, sadly died on April 24, aged 66.
He leaves behind his wife of 41 years, Ruth, their children, Mark and Laura, and four grandchildren, Addie, Edward, Scarlett and Seb.
As a young man, “real character” Pete worked as a reporter on the Worksop Guardian, but decided to leave journalism so he could focus on his faith and helping others through his work with Poplars Church.
Involved in leadership of the church since 1977, Pete is credited with helping transform a disused building on Victoria Square into the Golden Ball, which now serves as the church’s home and a thriving community hub.
In the 1990s, Pete travelled to Romania to assist in the launch of Fundatia Poplars Romania, which runs to this day supporting orphans, disabled people and families in need.
He taught in secondary schools for 25 years and continued to inspire and mentor children, delivering assemblies and supporting staff in 20 schools around Worksop.
Ruth Hardy paid tribute to her husband: “We have been totally overwhelmed by the love and support of so many people over the last few days, and by the wonderful tributes paid to Pete.
“What a man. He was many things to the people whose lives he impacted- warm, caring, charismatic, hilarious, a great teacher, a much loved church pastor, a legend. To us, he was an amazing husband, dad and grandpa. Most of all. his life was built on his relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Pete’s funeral will be held on Friday, May 11 at 11.30am at the Golden Ball.
In keeping with Pete’s personality, attendees are welcome to wear bright colours.
Donations will be split between Weston Park Hospital and Fundatia’s Poplars Romania.
More tributes to Pete:
Marion Warsop: “Pete Hardy a true gent, he made the long days in the FRIAT enclosure so much more enjoyable with his aircraft antics. So many memories such a loss.”
Keith Binks: “You touched so many lives Pete - a true inspiration. Whilst not a practicing Christian, you helped shape my humanitarian leadership values. So sad I did not get to see you more recently. Bless you and thank you.”
Sue Dowler: “What an amazing man he was. His faith was so strong and evident in all he did. He put so much into every assembly.
“But he was also very supportive of all the staff and children at Prospect. A wonderfully spiritual man who will be sadly missed.”
Rachel Stones: “What an amazing teacher, I haven’t seen Mr Hardy for some years but he touched my life as I’m sure he did others. He will never be forgotten. Thank you for your words of wisdom and inspiration.”
Sheryll Ingamells-Carrington: “If there were ever a gentleman who walked this earth, it was Pete.
“Always greeted you with a big smile. First my teacher,then I worked with him many times whilst arranging funerals. But he was always a friend.
“I will never forget the shock on his face when he walked into my office and found out what I did. You earned your wings, Pete.”
John McClune: “Simply one of life’s greatest, always brought out the best in everyone. Tremendous teacher and all round great person whom I feel honoured to know and our little school talks kept me on the straight and narrow. God bless you, Mr Hardy.”
Helen Fitzgerald said: “I remember Peter telling us about angels. It’s something that has always stayed with me. I truly believed (and have told many people) that I thought he was an angel walking amongst us. He had an aura about him that lit up the room had and a way of making you feeling listened to and comforted.”