Obituary: Beulah Mae “Bea” Hardy
Great-great-grandmother, lifelong Claremonter, volunteer, dancer, music lover
Beulah Mae Hardy, a lifelong resident of Claremont, died July 11. She was 98 years young.
“Bea,” as she liked to be called, was born in Claremont on April 28, 1923, in a house on Mountain Avenue where North Hills Church of Seventh-day Adventists stands today.
She was the fifth of seven children born to Floyd Melton Sanders and Sadie Elva Privett Sanders. All of her siblings predeceased her.
She attended Sycamore Elementary School and Claremont High School, class of 1941, where she enjoyed playing field hockey and basketball.
On September 20, 1941, she married her neighbor and childhood sweetheart, William Lloyd Hardy, in Claremont. They became the parents of three children: Marcia Ann, Barbara Mae and William Lloyd II. They were married 62 years until Mr. Hardy’s death in 2003.
She loved Claremont, living in the same home for 73 years, continuing to live there by herself after Mr. Hardy’s death, along with various pets, her beautiful garden, and a lovely fish pond constructed by her husband and son. She called it “Bea’s paradise.”
She also loved music, especially the big band tunes of the 1930s and ‘40s. She would recall walking each day through the citrus groves on her way to the school bus stop at the corner of Base Line Road and Mountain Avenue, singing all the way.
Later she enjoyed going to local convalescent homes to entertain the residents. She was a regular at Claremont Civic Symphony concerts and attended the Ontario Community Band concerts for more than 30 years.
She also loved to dance, taking lessons and joining a dance troop which performed throughout the surrounding communities. She loved to tell the story of how once on a cruise with friends she danced with Myron Floren, the accordionist best known for his work with the Lawrence Welk Orchestra.
While raising three children, she was also a Girl Scout leader and an Avon representative for several years. After her children married and left home, she was a volunteer “grandma” at Lanterman Developmental Center in Pomona. She felt service to others was very important, as well as fulfilling.
In later years she would drive herself each day—up until she was 96—to the Joslyn Center, where she would join her friends for exercise class and lunch. She always had a joke to share and songs to sing on karaoke day. She continued going each day until the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020.
When asked what her secret was for a long happy life, she would say clean living and all the beans she ate as a child. Her family says it was her positive attitude, love of life, long walks through Claremont, and always singing and telling jokes.
Upon hearing of her passing, a friend wrote a fitting tribute: “When life gets me down and my face has a frown, I will sing a little song and Bea Hardy.”
She is survived by her daughters and sons-in-law, Marcia and George Redmond of Claremont, Barbara and Joe Gillentine of Yorba Linda; son and daughter-in-law, Bill and Diane Hardy of Rialto; nine grandchildren; twenty-seven great-grandchildren; her great-great-granddaughter; and another great-grandchild due in February 2022.
A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, August 7 at Oak Park Cemetery, 410 Sycamore Ave., Claremont.