Denton E. Hardison, age 86, a lifelong resident of Ransomville, died Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015, after a brief illness, surrounded by his family at his home.
He was born April 13, 1929, in Niagara Falls, to the late Dayton E. and Mabel (Benedict) Hardison. He was a 1947 graduate of Youngstown High School and a 1949 graduate of Simmons School of Embalming and Mortuary Science.
A veteran of the Korean War, Hardison enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1950. He served a total of three years in Europe and Puerto Rico before his honorable discharge with the rank of staff sergeant in 1954. While in the service, he married Esther N. Bradley on Jan. 18, 1951. Upon his discharge, he joined his father in the operation of the family business, Hardison Funeral Homes Inc.
Hardison was very proud of the fact that he annually fulfilled the requirements to maintain his active funeral-directing license continuously for 63 years. He has been a member of the Ransomville Volunteer Fire Co. since 1946, as well as an exempt member. He was a charter member of the Kiwanis Club of Lewiston; a member of the O. Leo Curtiss American Legion Post No. 830 in Ransomville; a member of the Ransomville Masonic Lodge No. 551 F & AM; and a member of the New York State Funeral Directors Association, the Erie Niagara Funeral Directors Association and the National Funeral Directors Association.
Hardison was a member and long-time supporter of St. John Episcopal Church in Youngstown. He enjoyed vacationing with his family and friends on fishing trips in Canada and wintering in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for many years.
Hardison was the proud owner of a 1933 air-cooled Franklin and a 1957 Thunderbird. He was a member of the Antique Automobile Club of America and the Classic Thunderbird Club International. He also enjoyed NASCAR and local stock car racing.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Esther; his children, Jan and Bradley Hardison, both of Ransomville, and Paige Hardison of Lindenhurst; two grandsons, Evan and Ian Hardison; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sister, Joyce Campbell, and his brother, Gerald Hardison.
Visitation took place Tuesday and Wednesday at Hardison Funeral Home, 3648 Ransomville Road, Ransomville. Funeral services were held at Hardison Funeral Home on Thursday with the Rev. Charles Lamb officiating. Burial with military honors followed at North Ridge Cemetery, Church Road in the Town of Cambria.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Ransomville Fire Co. Antique Truck Fund, PO Box 239, Ransomville, NY 14131. Visit www.hardisonfuneralhomes.com for online condolences.