Linda Marie Hadden Hardy, loving mother and grandmother, educator and entrepreneur, died Saturday, March 8, 2014 of complications from a brain aneurysm at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines. She was 62. In the final moments of her life, Linda died just as she had lived – with a strong heart surrounded by her children.
The soft-spoken, intelligent, hard-working daughter of Edward and Leona (Shoemaker) Hadden, was born March 23, 1951. Linda earned diplomas from Paton-Churdan High School in 1969, Buena Vista University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1984, and Drake University with a Masters in Counseling in 1986.
The conservative Irish Catholic married Irishman John Joseph Hardy, Jr. on September 6, 1969 and shortly after began her career in one of the oldest professions – motherhood! The consummate mother, who believed that life began at conception and ended with natural death, had not one, not two, not three…. but seven children. Linda held several positions throughout her life, but there was no job tougher or one that she loved as much as that of being a mom. Linda gave birth to six children from 1970-1978 and in her spare time attended classes at Buena Vista University while graduating magna cum laude shortly before giving birth to her seventh child in 1984.
The Broadway Musical and current events aficionado believed in civic engagement and was an active member of the “Cowbells” organization, a woman’s group to help promote the beef industry. Linda traveled to Washington D.C. to promote beef to legislators. Linda was an active member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Lohrville, Catholic Daughters and the Rosary Society of St. Columbkille in Churdan and most recently St. Boniface Catholic Church in Waukee as a member of the prayer chain. A long-time educator for more than 20 years, Linda held positions such as teacher, counselor and administrator for schools throughout west central and northwest Iowa. Linda believed in helping students find and develop their passions in life. She often took fellow teachers, parents and administrators to task on educational bureaucracy that often got in the way of helping a student complete a course or diploma. It was during this time that she served the role of pseudo-mother for less fortunate students; often buying Christmas presents or food for them. She counseled some high school teenagers during their darkest hours. Linda’s big-heart and patience made her a favorite among the students.
While managing her roles as mother and educator, she still found time to run small businesses. In her early twenties, Linda founded and successfully owned “Linda’s Fabrics” a small fabric and clothing store out of her home; selling the business to raise money for her college education. Linda’s next business venture, in the late 1980’s, with the Longaberger Basket Company brought her great joy. Linda sold the decorative collectors baskets for 25 years to customers all over the globe.
In 2008, Linda transitioned out of her small business role to focus mainly on being a grandmother, a role she loved as much as any. During this time Linda would simply be known as “Grams” with a license plate that read “Grams 7”. A social media savant, Linda kept up with her children and grandchildren’s busy lives through Facebook. She reconnected with former students, friends, cousins, nieces, nephews and other relatives across the country.
Those left to mourn her passing are: daughter Christina St otts of Boone and her children Tyler and Tiffany; son Joseph and wife Stacie (Schleisman) of Sgt. Bluff and their children, Sidney, Madison, Payton and Joey; son Michael and wife Christine (Ludwig) of Lohrville and their children, Megan, Mariah, Matthew and Maximus; son Kevin J. and wife Patricia (Mayhan) of Cincinnati, Ohio and their children, Burke, Kennedy and Meeghan; daughter Karen and husband Chad Mussig of Gladbrook and their children, Madeline, Thomas, Samuel, Henry, Anna and Catherine; daughter Mary and husband Andrew Tice of Des Moines and their children, Olivia, William, Caroline and Alexander; and son Marc and wife Megan (Bullis) of Hereford, Texas; Mother Leona Hadden of Carroll; brother Neal Hadden and his wife Marcia of Oskaloosa; brother Lawrence “Jack” Hadden of Washington, D.C.
Those who preceded her in death were her father Edward Hadden and grandparents.
These mourners ask that those who knew Linda (1) help others identify and follow their dreams just as Linda encouraged people throughout her life, (2) continue to improve education and (3) love like you’ve never been hurt and dance like nobody is watching.
Mass of the Christian Burial was at 10:30 a.m. on Mar. 13 at St. Columbkille Catholic Church in Churdan. Officiating was Rev. Father Jeff Schleisman, Rev. Father Lynn Bruch, Rev. Father Kenneth J. Glaser. Final Resting Place was at St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery, Cedar Township, West of Churdan.
allbearers were Tyler Stotts, Thomas Mussig, Andy Hadden, Brian Hadden, Mike Minnehan and John Lonergan. Honorary Pallbearers were Linda’s 23 Grandchildren.
Visitation was held from 4-8 p.m. on Mar. 12 at St. Columbkille Catholic Church. Rosary was held at 6 p.m. Mar. 12 at St. Columbkille Catholic Church. Vigil for the Deceased was held at 6:30 p.m. Mar. 12 at St. Columbkille Catholic Church.
Brown Funeral Home of Churdan, 515-389-3179, www.brownfuneralhomesiowa.com