WINDER – Elmer Joe Hardegree, 89, died Sunday, February 5, 2012 at his residence.
A native of Barrow County, he was the son of the late James Ernest (Dock) and Mary Elder Hardegree. He was a veteran of the United States Army, having served as a military policeman during World War II. He also worked as a court crier/bailiff for three U.S. District Court Judges – Judge Robert Russell, Judge Neil Andrews and Judge Boyd Sloan, followed by employment as a Deputy U.S. Marshal. Mr. Hardegree retired from the Federal Government in 1969 after an appointment by the court and President Lyndon Johnson as United States Marshal of the Northern District of Georgia.
He enjoyed his retirement years on his farm in Barrow County, raising poultry and cattle. He also enjoyed researching his many ancestors through census records, visitation of cemeteries and courthouses and travel to other states for personal interviews. Mr. Hardegree willingly shared his knowledge of genealogy with other researchers and contributed information to publishers of several family histories includig The Harris Family, The Segars Family, The Elder Family, The Wages Family and the Hardegree/Hardigree Family. Mr. and Mrs. Hardegree helped to survey over thirty cemeteries in Barrow County for inclusion in Barrow County Georgia Cemeteries’ book published in 2000. He was a member of Cattlemen’s Association, Barrow County Historical Society, East Georgia Genealogical Society and Chapel Christian Church.
Survivors include his wife of 64 years, Lema Wages Hardegree; children and spouses, Sue and John Sheats, Barbara and Jim Harwell, James and Sherry Hardegree, all of Winder and Debbie and Steve Johnson, Arnoldsville; eight grandchildren, Reed (Holly Sheats, Rory Sheats, Griffin Sheats, all of Winder, Audrey (Chuck) Neuschafer, Cimarron, Kan., Nathan (Tricia) Harwell, Cumming, Jennifer Hardegree, Beth (Phillip) Bell, all of Winder and Eli Johnson, Arnoldsville; two brothers, Donald (Doris) Hardigree and Jimmy Hardegree; and nine great-grandchildren, Luke and Tate Sheats; Drew, Katie and Sydney Harwell; Emma Neuschafer; Savanah Hardegree; Avery and J.P. Bell and three step-great-grandchildren, Alex, Kaleb and Blake Neuschafer. Mr. Hardegree was preceded in death by his sister, Dorothy Hardegree Mobley and a great-granddaughter, Sela Mae Sheats.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, February 8, at Chapel Christian Church, Winder, with the Rev. Jim Stephens conducting the service. Interment will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends from 5 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, February 7, at the funeral home.
Flowers will be accepted, or memorials may be made to Chapel Christian Church, 776 Chapel Church Rd., Winder, GA 30680.
Smith Funeral Home, Winder, is in charge of arrangements.