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Charles "Hugh" Hardison
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Obituary for Charles "Hugh" Hardison

Mr. Charles “Hugh” Hardison, age 87, retired Colonel of The Georgia State Patrol, passed away Tuesday, July 4, 2017 following a lengthy illness.

He left his heartprint on all who knew and loved him.

Born August 29,1929 in Byron, GA, to Dudley "Slick" Hardison and Lydia "Pet" Hardison (Nee) Bryant, Colonel Hugh Hardison moved to Cedartown as a boy. He developed his love of football at Cedartown High School playing on the championship team in 1946. In 1947 he joined the Navy, then the Marines for a tour in Korea. Returning home, he attended Georgia Tech, playing football under the great Bobby Dodd. As one of "Dodd's Boys" he played on both the 1952 Orange Bowl and 1953 Sugar Bowl Championship teams.

In 1954 he joined the Georgia State Patrol, rising through the ranks from License Examiner to Colonel. In 1979 he was named Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety for the State of Georgia. He was "a Trooper's Trooper" never asking more of his men than he was willing to give himself. He attained Black Belt status in both Karate and Judo and helped bring those skills to the GSP.

After 32 years, he retired from the Patrol and returned to his first love, football. He worked at Georgia Tech with security for the Athletic Dept. where he mentored countless young men and women throughout the years (many of whom became Troopers themselves).
After retirement, he enjoyed swimming, shooting pool, and spending time with family and friends at his Cedartown cabin. He is survived by his wife Sandi Hardison,;daughter Lisa Cardle and son-in-law Greg Thornton; son Russell Cardle and wife Lia; sisters-in-law Sunday Cook and Sherrie Diane Loope; brother-in-law John Stevenhagen; daughter, LeeAnn Hardison and special mention to two young boys who brought him the most joy and happiness Clay Pilgrim and Sacha Lignon.

The visitation for Colonel Hardison will be Monday, July 10, 2017 from 11:30 AM-1:30 PM at Smith & Miller Funeral Home. A second viewing will be held at First Baptist Church of Cedartown, from 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM with the service to celebrate the life of Mr. Hugh Hardison to follow at 5:00 PM with Dr. David Taylor officiating, GSP Colonel Mark McDonuough and Coach Bill Curry delivering eulogies. The interment with follow at Polk Memory Gardens in Cedartown with Rev. Leon Allen officiating.

The Georgia State Patrol Honor Guard with be providing honors at the cemetery along with the American Legion Brown - Wright Post 12. Current and former GSP officers who will serve as honorary pallbearers.

The family would like to express their deep appreciation to Heyman Hospice of Rome, especially Nurse Shirley LeMasters and special friend Joyce Hill.

The family has respectfully asked that flowers be omitted and memorial contributions be made to Children Healthcare of Atlanta 1577 Northeast Expressway Atlanta, GA. 303329 www.choa.org or either the Wounded Warrior Project PO Box 758517 Topeka, Kansas 66675-8517 www.woundedwarriorproject.org.

The Smith & Miller Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Colonel Hugh Hardison.


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