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Mary Katherine (Cole) Hardison

December 8, 1944 ~ September 17, 2021 (age 76)

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Mary Catherine Hardison was a beloved wife, mother, and grandmother during her 76 years of life. She passed away peacefully Friday, September 17, 2021, to be with our Lord and Savior. The imprint Catherine left on our hearts, though, far exceeds the time that she was able to be with us in this life.

Catherine’s family will remember her for her strength, determination, support, and love…among many other qualities. Family meant everything to Catherine, and, throughout her life, she always put us first. She steadfastly loved her husband and doted on her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Catherine never parted ways with any of her family without telling us how much she loved us, how beautiful she thought we were, and how very proud she was of us all. Granny, as she was lovingly known, attended countless academic, sporting, and church events during the past 30 years and rarely missed anything that her family was involved in. Without hesitation, she was the ever-present cheerleader and caregiver for her family, whenever and wherever she was needed.

The daughter of Jack and Katie Matthews, Catherine was born December 8, 1944. She was raised by her parents, along with five sisters and one brother, with a work ethic and dedication to family that she carried with her throughout her life. Catherine met and married her one true and everlasting love, John C. Hardison Jr. (Johnny) February 17, 1963. They remained faithful and true to each other for 58 beautiful years. Catherine gained the title she was most proud of, momma, when she and Johnny were blessed with the birth of their daughter, Donna Dean Hardison, and son, John Clarence Hardison III (affectionally called John John). Catherine’s children were, without a doubt, the center of her heart and her life, and she gave to them both everything a mother could possibly give.

Catherine was an avid gardener and never met a flower, plant, bush, or grass that she could not root and grow. A dedicated Christian woman all of her life, Catherine could be found most every Sunday rocking and caring for an untold number of babies and young children during her decades of service in the church nursery. She also served many hours at the church cooking, serving, and cleaning during Family Nights, Bible School, and special church events. Catherine’s sincere love of children led her to be a teaching assistant to the thousands of children who crossed the doors at Wallace Elementary School during her 25 dedicated years of service.

Catherine leaves behind her faithful and loving husband of 58 years, Johnny; loving daughter Donna Hairr and husband Wesley and dedicated son John John and wife Jenni; five adoring grandchildren—Madison Warren and husband Keagan, John Wesley Hairr and wife Mary Margaret, Cole Hardison, Paige Hardison, and Dustin Hardison; two extra-special great-granddaughters—Callan and Kenley Warren; mother-in-law Centelle Atkinson Hardison; three surviving sisters Essie Leigh Padgett, Geraldine Dixon, and Faye Carter; sister-in-law Dianne Hardison; special niece and nephew--Chelle Borresen and Rance Hardison; and numerous other nieces and nephews.  

Our family would like to express our sincere gratitude and love for the staff at Dayspring of Wallace. We are forever indebted for the care, compassion, and devotion that many of you so unselfishly gave to Catherine and our family during the final 10 months of her life. It is truly a gift that we will never be able to repay. We would also like to thank Heather with Lower Cape Fear Hospice for leading us along this journey with true kindness and a tremendous amount of support.

Due to Covid-related circumstances, our family has made the difficult decision to have a small, family celebration of Catherine’s life. Thank you to everyone that has reached out with comforting words, support, and prayers during this very difficult time. In lieu of flowers, if you would like to make a donation in Catherine’s honor, please consider Teachey Baptist Church (P.O. Box 158  Teachey, NC 28464) or Lower Cape Fear LifeCare (www.LifeCare.org).

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