Dorothy S. Hardin
Jan. 18, 1925-Jan. 17, 2023
Dorothy passed away a day shy of her 98th birthday after a long and well-lived life. She was a kind and gentle soul who moved through life with grace and gratitude. Born in San Francisco to Alma and August Schmidt, she grew up happily with her four siblings in the then small town of Pleasanton. Later in life she would chronicle that experience in a series of short stories, many of which, to her delight, were published. Soon after graduating from Amador High School in 1943, she met a sailor from Florida at a USO dance – a year later they wed. Together they built their life and raised their daughters in Dorothy’s beloved hometown.
Not only was Dorothy a gifted writer, she also had a beautiful voice. She sang with a band while in high school and then later with Pleasanton’s Broadway Chorus. She was often heard singing in her garden—her sanctuary. All were welcomed into this enchanted space that inspired creativity, where life’s questions could be answered or a broken heart could be mended. “Digging in the dirt” was indeed sunshine to Dorothy’s soul.
Dorothy was also a talented artist. And, to the delight of her family and anyone lucky enough to sit at her table, she was a fabulous cook whose meals were a work of art unto themselves. In fact, you can count yourself lucky if one of Dorothy’s beautifully decorated cakes graced your wedding table.
Dorothy was always open for adventure with a resounding, “Sure, let’s go!” There were impromptu road trips with husband Shelton, snowshoeing in Wisconsin, hiking in Ireland, street tacos in Mexico, a New York City Broadway Show extravaganza, and even a hot-air balloon ride at 88!
A true animal lover, Dorothy always had a dog at her side and a cat perched on her lap.
Dorothy formed a lifelong friendship with her Jensen Street neighbors Bettye Branan and Wanda Ferguson. The three, all born in 1925, shared half a century of life’s experiences together. Dorothy often attributed her longevity to their daily walks. For many years the “Three Amigas” could be seen hoofing it down the street at 6:30 AM with dogs in tow.
In 2002, Dorothy set off on a new adventure and moved to Magalia, CA. to live near her sister. Then in 2016, Sacramento became her home with family by her side as she struggled with dementia. During the last years of her life, Dorothy was happiest when listening to and singing along with her favorite music, and hearing her own stories read to her.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband of 48 years, Shelton Hardin; her young daughter, Janet; her parents; her granddaughters, Shanna Lori and Alysha Colvin; and her siblings Amelia Goff, William Schmidt, and Robert Schmidt.
Those of us left behind will always cherish Dorothy’s memory and be thankful to have been able to bask in her light: daughters, Naomi Cummings and husband Ron, and Marsha Hardin Reske and husband Skip; sister, Nancy Ward; grandchildren, Gabrielle Stevens, Sean Colvin, Zachary Colvin, Brandon Reske, Skylar Colvin, and Micah Colvin; and great grandchildren, Monet, Logan, Leah, Hailey, Noah, Rylie, and Harper.
“The wonder of nature prevails, ever changing yet never changing.” ~ D. Hardin