Theodore (Ted) Saunders Hardwick, 93, of Amarillo, TX passed away January 21, 2024. Ted was born November 3, 1930 at the ranch house outside of Clovis, New Mexico. He was the third child of William Francis Hardwick and Dorothy Saunders Hardwick. He had an older brother, Bill Hardwick, and an older sister, Patsy Hardwick. Later he would have a baby sister, Joan Hardwick. All three of Ted’s siblings preceded him in death.
Ted grew up farming and ranching, he loved the work! He got his first horse, Trixie, for his third birthday and enjoyed riding his whole life. He had a wonderful cutting horse as an adult, Dusty, and then another horse he enjoyed riding named Buck.
Ted grew up working cattle, herding sheep, hoeing in the fields and doing all manner of farm chores from the time he was about five years old. Ted’s family moved into Clovis when he was in elementary school and that is when he raised rabbits. He didn’t really enjoy raising rabbits and said the best advice about raising rabbits is…DON’T START! When Ted was twelve or thirteen he got his driver’s license and would drive his dad’s old ‘38 Ford Coupe out to the farm. His dad had an old building he let Ted use to have a brooder area for baby chicks. And so Ted got into the chicken business. He raised chickens for 2-3 years. During the war Ted had a Victory Garden. He raised enough vegetables for his mom to use and sold the rest to the grocer on the corner. He was an industrious person!
While Ted excelled at farming and ranching, his school days were not so pleasant! He used to say that his first day of school was miserable and it went downhill from there! When he was 16, his parents sent him to Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, Missouri. Ted did not enjoy Wentworth. He missed farm life. He could only come home for Christmas because of the distance. But it was when he came home for Christmas, and his sister and her friend, Bobby Nell Pittman, picked him up, that his life was changed…forever!
Ted and Bobby were both smitten with each other. He escorted her to her Sub Deb dance and that was the beginning of the rest of their lives. Ted finished Wentworth Military Academy, and after a short stint at Colorado A&M, in which Ted decided college definitely wasn’t for him, he came home to live with his parents. Ted’s parents had moved from Clovis, New Mexico to Hereford, Texas where his dad owned and ran the theaters. Bobby had worked at the theaters for Ted’s dad since she was thirteen years old. Ted and Bobby dated and fell in love. After Bobby graduated from high school in May of 1950, she and Ted were married on October 15th. Ted often stated that Bobby was “His Gift From God”. The newlyweds lived in Hereford, both working at the theaters for Ted’s father. A few years later Ted joined the Air Force and the couple moved to Roswell, New Mexico where Ted was stationed. In Roswell, Bobby and Ted had their first child, a daughter named Deveny.
After Ted completed his time in the Air Force, he and Bobby moved back to the Hereford area where he farmed and ranched. They enjoyed many close friendships and their monthly Bridge Supper Club. Two more daughters were born in Hereford, Saundie and Lisa. Ted was a devoted husband and father. He worked hard, as he always had, to provide for his little family. Bobby’s mom, Nell Pittman, lived in Hereford. Ted used to say that he had the best mother-in-law ever. He would tell of stopping in to see her and she’d make him an onion sandwich. He respected Bobby’s mother and they always had a wonderful relationship!
In 1962, Ted and Bobby moved to eastern Colorado where they purchased a farm 25 miles from town. They lived in Colorado, raising their family and working the farm until 1983. They had many close friends and neighbors. They were active members at the Burlington church of Christ. Ted taught Bible classes and even on one desperate occasion, led singing! Ted and Bobby used the Jule Miller filmstrips and had many Bible Studies with other people. Ted’s goal was always to be a faithful follower and servant of the Lord
Those first few years on the farm in Colorado were, as Ted would say, lean. He drove the tractor for long hours, fed the cattle, and tended to chores. Ted wasn’t a complainer, he was a doer. At one point he went to Hereford and bought a whole load of potatoes that he brought back to peddle on Burlington’s Main Street, pushing that wheelbarrow up and down the sidewalk, hawking potatoes from one end of town to the other!
Everyone helped out on the farm, working together as a family. Ted and Bobby modeled a strong work ethic and self motivation. Ted taught his daughters how to feed and tend the animals, hold the grain sacks so he could quickly and efficiently fill them, clean out grain bins, irrigate, haul hay, drive the tractor, and many other jobs. Almost every year he would buy his girls bucket calves that they would bottle feed and raise. Ted taught his girls responsibility and the satisfaction of a job well done. Taking care of your equipment and tools was another lesson Ted taught the girls. They learned to check the oil before starting the tractor, and to let it warm up at the beginning of the job and cool down at the end. He was insistent they pay attention while doing their tasks, so things were done correctly and safely. But mixed in with all the work was lots of joking, laughter, and fun! Ted would be the first to throw a snowball if snow was on the ground, or stop and pet the animals, or roll the girls in the innertube. Ted loved dogs and he was the one who was always bringing a puppy home! And there was music! Lots of country western music from KNAB radio!
Ted had a great love of farming and ranching. After several years on the farm he became a sales rep for Prairie Valley Seed, in addition to farming. He sold seed for many years and did well. In 1975 Ted built a feedlot on his farm. His corn had been hailed out and in his typical tenacious spirit he decided to use the hailed out corn for ensilage, which meant he needed a feedlot! And it worked, he had a busy feedlot operation for the next eight years!
In 1983, Ted and Bobby moved to Alamogordo, New Mexico where Ted sold real estate and Bobby worked at Western Bank. Ted liked selling real estate, he especially liked buying and selling land. Him and Bobby were active in the Cuba Avenue church of Christ, where Ted served as an elder for many years. In 1985, Ted and Bobby traveled to Brazil to visit and encourage the missionaries there, the Brumfields and the Bontragers. In 2000 Ted began supporting a young Nigerian preacher, Reuben, and that relationship grew and flourished over the years. Reuben visited Ted in 2014 for two weeks and Ted remained in contact with Reuben until the end. Ted and Bobby were passionate about sharing the gospel, supporting and encouraging missionaries, and having Bible Studies in their home.
Ted was patriotic. He was always thankful for this country and prayed for God to guide our leaders. He was an informed voter and did not take that privilege lightly.
Ted and Bobby retired and began pursuing the dream of traveling and spending time with family. In 1995, Ted and Bobby bought a 5th wheel trailer and hit the road! These years brought many happy memories as they traveled all over the United States and met many people that became dear friends! This was a special time in their lives. They often traveled as part of the We Care Ministry, continuing their love of teaching the Word.
In 2009, Ted and Bobby moved to Amarillo, Texas to be close to family. They loved living close to their three girls and having the opportunity to see them often. There were many family dinners and games of joker played. Ted and Bobby both loved playing games! In Amarillo, Ted and Bobby became members of the Bell Avenue church of Christ. They enjoyed many happy years at Bell Ave working side by side with their fellow Christians. They were faithful workers with World Bible School and enjoyed attending worship services and all the fellowship activities.
Ted lost his precious wife Bobby on April 26, 2021. He missed her every day, but he continued to strive to live his best possible life and to serve and encourage others. His daughters stayed with him so he could stay at his home. They enjoyed cooking together, playing games, and visiting. He continued to have a wonderful sense of humor and he enjoyed having company or calling friends on the phone. Ted faithfully continued, as he had done for many, many years, to read the Bible every morning. Every night he would have a devotion with the daughter staying with him before going to bed.
Ted was a faithful and loving husband and father. He was a fun and involved Papa with his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He cared about his family, his church community, and his friends. He wanted to show everyone he met the love of Jesus, and let them know they were important and he cared about them.
He is survived by his three daughters and two son in laws, Deveny Coryell, Saundie Wade and husband Gordon, and Lisa White and husband Tim, eight grandchildren, thirteen great grandchildren, and two great, great grandchildren, and one sister in law, Cora Mae Adams of Odessa, Texas and many, many precious friends.
Memorial services will be held Friday, February 2, 2024 at 1:00 PM at Bell Avenue church of Christ, 1600 Bell Avenue, Amarillo, Texas with Tim Brumfield and Ron Bontrager officiating.
Memorial gifts may be sent to:
70 West church of Christ, PO Box 1729, Paragould, Arkansas 72451-1729, Attn: Nigerian Evangelism (please note the gift is for the mission work of Reuben Egwu, in memory of Ted Hardwick)
New Mexico Christian Children’s Home, 1356 NM-236, Portales, New Mexico 88130