Hardin, Ann Alicia Bobb. Alicia (Lisa) Hardin died suddenly on Thursday, May 19, because she couldn't wait any longer to be with her husband, Don Hardin, who died in December.
Lisa Hardin was the middle child of Esther and Morton Bobb in Columbus. She loved working with her father in his bountiful vegetable garden, riding her bike so fast it felt like flying, and taking care of her younger cousins. She and her family lived in an old house near The Ohio State University campus, where (as she frequently told her children) her job was feeding the coal furnace every morning during the winter. At five, she was “Queen of the May” in her neighborhood.
The strong, educated women in Lisa’s family, including her mother, grandmothers, and many aunts and great-aunts, had a tremendous influence on her. She spent hours with her great-aunt, the artist Alice Schille, in Alice’s studio. Lisa’s given name, Alicia, was in honor of Alice Schille. If you have seen one of Alice’s portraits of a child, it likely featured Lisa’s feet and hands. Lisa was the stand-in for reluctant wiggly children, and could pose for hours while Alice told her stories of her travels abroad.
Lisa attended The Ohio State University School for elementary and high school. She was very proud of the education she received there, and insisted that the school was not to blame for her appalling spelling. She excelled academically, and participated actively in the school’s social life, enjoying theatre, music, and dancing clubs.
After high school, Lisa attended OSU, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Radio and TV speech. She was a third-generation OSU graduate, and wore her Buckeye colors proudly. She loved to recount her days as a waitress in the Faculty Club dining room, where she once notably dropped a hot fudge sundae on her advisor’s head. (She swore this was an accident.) She was a member of the Alpha Gamma chapter of the Kappa Alpha Theta women’s fraternity, of which her grandmother was a founding member. She was active in several other campus groups, including the YWCA of which she was president.
In her sophomore year, Lisa met a handsome dark-haired ROTC student who was the President of the YMCA. She didn’t think much of Don Hardin until her childhood friend fixed her up on a blind date with him. The date, dancing at Valley Dale Ballroom, led to the great romance in her life. She and Don married just after Valentine’s Day in 1957, and spent the rest of their lives together.
After their marriage, Lisa and Don spent their first two years in Columbus. Geoffrey Scott was born in October 1958, and they moved to Cincinnati shortly thereafter. Lisa taught first grade in Mariemont for two years, until Jennifer Anne was born. For the next sixteen years, she was a stay-at-home mom. David Eric was born in 1967, and Matthew Evan in 1970. During these years, Lisa was very active in the Junior League of Cincinnati, Garden Club of Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Bar Association Auxiliary, and the PTAs at all the schools her children attended, holding offices in each organization. She was a docent at the Cincinnati Art Museum for many years. The family became members of the Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church in 1973, and Lisa worked as a volunteer in the church office one Sunday a month for many years.
In the mid-seventies, Lisa reentered the workforce as a part-time accountant for a court reporting company. A few years later, she became an owner and president of the company, Ace Reporting Services. She led the firm for almost 40 years, during which time she was proud to serve on several commissions for women entrepreneurs and professional organizations.
Lisa was most proud of her six grandchildren. She was 60 when the first grandchild came along, and commented that she enjoyed them so much because she had to wait so darned long for them. She loved attending lots of school events, games, and graduations for all of the grandkids.
Lisa and Don lived in Hyde Park in their dream house for more than 44 years, enjoying good health and happiness together for most of them. They shared a deep love for movies, classical music, and books, and they both had great senses of humor. They endured, together, the unexpected death of their oldest son, Geoff.
Lisa was a homebody, enjoying her gardens and Cincinnati, but also loved spending some time each year in Holden Beach, North Carolina. In addition to their children, Lisa and Don raised three dogs and six cats over the years, including Lisa’s special cat, Amber, who sneaked into their basement one winter and never left.
Lisa will be terribly missed by her children and their spouses, Jennifer and Rob Flesch, David and Kelly Hardin, and Matthew and Dianne Hardin, her six grandchildren, Shelby Elizabeth (Zachary Taylor), Samuel Adam, Rachel McKenzie, Olivia Paris, and Madison Alaina Hardin, and Alex Michael Flesch, brother and sister-in-law, John and Janis Bobb, and her nieces and nephews, as well as her many close friends and neighbors. She is joyfully reunited with Don and Geoff.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be designated to the Geoffrey Hardin Honorary Memorial Fund at the Cincinnati Parks Foundation. Services will be held on Tuesday, May 24 at the Spring Grove Funeral Homes, 4389 Spring Grove Ave. Visitation is 11:00 am – 1:00 pm, with the service starting at 1:00 pm. Interment at Spring Grove Cemetery.