Honoring the life of Bill Hardin III

Published 8:00 am Sunday, July 9, 2023

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William Eugene (Bill) Hardin, III, 58, passed away June 23, at his home. The life of the beloved Greenville native was honored at the First Baptist Church in Montgomery, on June 26 as a long line of family, old and new friends, alumni, and respected colleagues and acquaintances stretched down the sidewalk in front of the church. 

Hardin was born September 30, 1964, in Greenville to Marianne “Nonnie” Stanley and William Eugene “Gene” Hardin, Jr. Gene Hardin was the editor of The Greenville Advocate for 27 years, and Bill Hardin worked alongside his father in the family business for many years. 

He was later the owner/operator of Greenville Printing and Office Supply. In 2006, he began his career with Cumulus Media and later was named Promotions Director.  At the time of his death, he served as Director of Marketing and Sales at The Garrett Coliseum.

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“Bill Hardin was blessed to have grown up in a very close, loving family with historical roots that have shaped and nourished the City of Greenville for many generations,” said Jim Dunklin, lifelong friend of Hardin. “Bill brought a charismatic personality to wherever he was and whatever he was doing: sports, work, fishing, socializing, etc. and it was hard not to be smiling when you were around him. It was very evident at the funeral that the family closeness and love in which he was raised were passed down to his own immediate family as a loving husband and father to his wife Elizabeth, and children Caroline and Will.”

Hardin was a 1983 Fort Dale Academy graduate where he was a four-year letterman in football, basketball, and baseball. He was also an Eagle Scout and loved the outdoors. 

Hardin attended The University of Alabama and was a member of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. He was on the board of The Montgomery Zoo and the Kiwanis Club, and served his faith family at the First Baptist Church in Montgomery. 

“We have been friends as long as I can remember, since kindergarten when we went to Woodland Heights Church in Greenville and I don’t ever remember Bill not being around,” said Bill Lewis, lifelong friend of Hardin. “Bill always had a good story and had a memory like an elephant! He was a good athlete, and was just good at whatever he wanted to do. Bill was a sentimental guy, serious yet passionate, and he was always fun to be around. He was a great father and husband, and he worshiped the ground his wife and children walked on. If I ever needed anything I knew I could call Bill, and vice versa.”

Predeceased in death by his parents and sister, Jean Amanda Hardin, Bill is survived by his wife Elizabeth Darby of Montgomery, and children, Caroline Elizabeth and William Eugene “Will” Hardin, IV;  two sisters: Mollie Utley of Opelika, and Laurie Norman of Greenville; father-in-law, Leon Darby (Lou Ann); sister-in-law, Louise Dudle (Mark) of Woodstock, GA; brother-in-law, Ross Darby, Montgomery; eight nieces and nephews: Marianne Alverson Gilchrist (John), Birmingham; Leah Utley Coles, Nashville; Virginia Lee Alverson, Nashville; Elizabeth Utley Sheehan (Allen), Auburn; Frank M. Alverson, Jr.  (Katherine), Birmingham; Matthew Dudle (Sarah), Woodstock, GA; and Hannah and Samuel, Woodstock, GA; and eight great-nieces and nephews.

“Bill was always a family man,” shared Hardin’s sister Mollie Hardin Utley. “He loved Mama and Daddy, his sisters, and his own beautiful family fiercely. His favorite times were those spent with family, celebrating holidays, birthdays and sometimes nothing at all. An Alabama football game on the TV made every occasion better. A Bama win combined with a salty raw oyster and cold beer made every get together memorable. We won’t sing happy birthday, crack open an oyster or say Roll Tide again without thinking of Bill.”

For any donations in honor of Hardin, please consider making a contribution to the First Baptist Church of Montgomery Missions Fund or the Boy Scouts of America.