William J. “Bill” Hardin, MD, passed away October 9 at the age of 81, after a battle with cancer. He was born July 4, 1937 in Jackson, son of the late James W. and Doris “Dot” Hardin. He was graduated from Jackson Central High School in 1955 and with honors from Millsaps College in 1958. Shortly after, he married Blythe Jeffrey and together, they recently celebrated 60 years of marriage.
Bill pursued a degree in medicine, graduating with high honors from Baylor College of Medicine in 1962. After completing an internship at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, he was a captain and flight surgeon in the United States Air Force. Upon completion of his military service, he completed a general surgery residency at the University of Mississippi Medical Center as well as an American Cancer Society Clinical Fellowship and a Surgical Oncology Fellowship at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
Bill made Temple, Texas his family’s home in 1970 when he joined Scott and White Clinic, where he served as senior staff surgeon and director of the Division of General Surgery until 1979. He then opened Temple Surgical Clinic, a private practice he owned and operated until 1995. During this time he served in various roles with King’s Daughters Hospital, including chief of surgery, a member of the board of directors, and president of medical staff. Bill was a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of Texas Surgical Society. While at the helm of Temple Surgical Clinic, he consulted with and treated patients throughout Central Texas. He retired from practice after 39 years in 2001.
Bill was involved in many community activities, serving as president of the Central Bell County Chapter of the American Cancer Society as well as the director of the Bell County Health District. His passion for public service extended beyond medicine, however. He was an active member of the Temple Lions Club, served as president for Temple Area Swim Club, and served for 30 years on the board of directors of First State Bank, Central Texas. Bill also served on the board of directors of the Temple Chamber of Commerce from 1985-88, and was elected and served two terms on the Temple City Council, where, as Mayor Pro-Tem championed the first-of-its-kind cigarette smoking ban, leading a successful effort to require Temple restaurants to designate “no-smoking” sections in their establishments.
After retirement, Bill developed a love for raising Longhorn cattle, cutting and splitting firewood, playing golf with friends (who mostly cheated), attending his morning coffee group, and travelling internationally with Blythe. Most of all, however, he loved spending time with his grandchildren.
A devout Christian, Bill was an active member of Christ Episcopal Church in Temple for more than 40 years. He served as a member of the vestry and was appointed senior warden on three occasions. One of his fondest memories, however, was serving with the men’s breakfast group serving the parishioners on Sunday mornings.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, James and Doris; and his brother James “Bud” Hardin. He is survived by his wife Blythe; brother Bobby of Jackson; son Jeff of Kerrville, Texas; son Joey of Belton, Texas; daughter Amy of Temple, Texas; son Allen and his wife Morgen of Austin, Texas; and grandchildren Logan, Megan, Joel, Will, and Warner.
Arrangements are under the direction of Harper–Talasek Funeral Home in Temple. A visitation will be held Sunday, October 14 from 5 – 7 p.m. at the funeral home. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, October 15 at Christ Episcopal Church in Temple, Texas with the Rev. Justin Yawn officiating.
Memorials may be made to Christ Episcopal Church Building Fund, 300 N. Main, Temple, Texas, 76501.