Hiram's Obituary
Hiram Hardesty
1/16/1914 - 5/2/2002

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Dr. Hiram Hardesty, 88, (“Pop”)
Ophthalmologist, Educator, Winemaker



WEST FARMINGTON, OHIO

Dr. Hiram Hardesty, revered ophthalmologist and educator with University Hospitals and Case Western Reserve University, died Thursday Morning, May 2, 2002 at his beloved farm in West Farmington, Ohio.

Dr. Hardesty was an ophthalmologist in private practice at Green Road Suburban Medical Center until 1996. He served as associate clinical professor at Case Western Reserve University from 1960-1996, at which time he joined the emeritus faculty.

He and his wife Merrily bought a farm in West Farmington in 1959. Over the years they transformed a 200-acre parcel of land into a family sanctuary; a working tree farm and a successful sugar bush, where they made delicious maple syrup. They became interested in winemaking and planted a small vineyard. Their estate-bottled “Hilltop Farm” wine won several blue ribbon prizes at area wine festivals, and has been shared with much love and laughter with friends and family over the years. After his retirement, they moved from their home in Shaker Heights to Hilltop Farm, where Dr. Hardesty died.

Hiram Haines Hardesty was born in Paulding, Ohio in 1914. As a youth he loved playing baseball. Between his freshman and sophomore years at Hiram College, Hardesty became pitcher for the Paulding County “All Stars”. He wrote in his memoirs: “It was in the summertime between my years in college that I had my greatest success. I really became interested in pitching softball and worked hard at improving my game. The biggest thrill in my life was pitching a no hit game against our biggest rivals, a team fromVan Wert!” He ultimately earned his undergraduate degree at Miami University in 1936 and received his M.D. at Western Reserve University in 1940. “The most memorable event of my medical school years,” Dr. Hardesty wrote, “was meeting the girl who eventually became my wife. We met on a hayride and all went to dinner after the ride. She swears that on being introduced to me as ‘Merrily Bill’ I retorted, ‘Merrily Bill, what kind of name is that?!’ . . . We were married on the day that we both graduated, Merrily from the School of Social Sciences and I from medical school. It was a big day.”

During World War II, Dr. Hardesty served as a flight surgeon for the 401st bomb group and was stationed at Deenethorpe, about 70-miles north of London, home of the “Screamin’ Demons”. After the war, he did his post graduate work in ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and then moved back to Cleveland to do a two-year residency at University Hospitals.

During his long and distinguished professional career, Dr. Hardesty contributed a great deal to the Cleveland community. He wrote contributing articles to professional journals and was an active speaker and advocate for his specialty both here and abroad. He was active in the local United Appeal (now United Way). He served on the board of directors for the Cleveland School for the Blind, the American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology, the American Orthoptic Council, and the Association for Research in Strabismus (Squint Club). He served as president of the Allen Memorial

Medical Library and Cleveland Ophthalmology Club. He was a fellow with the American Academy of Ophthalmology and with the American Academy of Otolaryngology.

Hiram deeply loved and enjoyed time with his family. Every weekend found the couple (“Boo” and “Pop”) working around the farm, playing tennis, relaxing, or dining with friends and family. Long time members of the Cleveland Skating Club, he enjoyed tennis regularly. The Hardesty’s hosted an annual “Residents Party” for the young physicians in the ophthalmology resident program at CWRU, which Dr. Hardesty mentored. In addition to his wife, Merrily, he is survived by two children, Susan Christie Ph.D, and John Lee Hardesty DDS (Lis). Son Thomas Haines Hardesty DDS (Kathy) died in 1992. Dr. Hardesty has seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Hiram was very interested in the computer and the internet. Over the last several months of his life he began work on a personal Website-memoir about his life and family. You are viewing it now.

Memorial donations may be made to the Hospice of your choice, Planned Parenthood, or the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine.