John William “Bill” Hardy passed away on October 1st, 2012 in Gainesville, Florida.
He was born in Murphysboro, Illinois on January 12th, 1930. A naturalist since a child, he was an avid freshwater and fly fisherman and a bird enthusiast. He earned his PhD in Ornithology at University of Kansas and was a Professor and Curator at the University of Florida from 1973 until 1990. He was a world renowned ornithologist; leading birding trips in Costa Rica and the Galapagos as well as recording rare bird calls that are now heard at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. His hard work on some of the first recordings of an owl in the Amazon led to the owl being named after him: Hardy’s Pygmy Owl. He was founder and owner of ARA Records, which was a leader in bird recordings for years. With his company Revelation Records, he helped undiscovered, talented jazz musicians make their first records and share their gift. To say Bill was passionate about jazz music is an understatement. Jazz music was his faithful and devoted companion through joyful and hard times.
He is survived by Maria Lima, his caregiver of 10 years, his daughter, Claudia Hardy (and son in law Henry (Buz) Bireline) and his son, Matthew Hardy.
A memorial service is planned for Sunday, October 7th at 6pm at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville, 4225 N.W. 34th Street.