Billie Templin Hardee
Billie Templin Hardee
Jan 7, 1938-April 19, 2022
Momma was born on Jan. 7, 1938, in Cameron, Texas. Her mother and father were John and Lillie Thompson Templin. She was raised in Shreveport, La. While in high school she met Jim Hardee who had moved to town from North Carolina. They later married, moved back to Chapel Hill, and she would be a Carolina girl for the rest of her life.
Daddy was a preacher and Momma was a preacher’s wife. After several years serving the United Methodist Conference they were led to open a children’s home. The Darlington Youth Home, which later became The Billie Hardee home for Boys, was established in 1977 and would operate continually for the next 40 years.
Upon their retirement the boy’s home closed. Upon closing, Billie and Jim had left their mark on over 10,000 South Carolina children, a feat that had never been done before, nor since.
Their work with children earned them numerous accolades over the years to include The Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina Family of the Year, The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award from Coker University, and numerous honorary degrees. Although the accolades were plentiful and nice to receive, Momma always said the true reward was the success of the children who crossed their path. She was proud of them all.
I guess you could say Momma spent her entire life serving others. Most of those she served happened to be children. She left this world better than she found it and she did it one child at the time. From very humble beginnings, her father being a first-generation immigrant from Germany, she eventually earned the title of Saint from her family. On April 19, 2022, the Lord agreed.
Momma is survived by my older brother, Jimmie Hardee, and his wife Natalie, myself, J. Todd Hardee, and my wife, Jenny, my sister Sam Baumbach and her husband John, and my sister Niki Chapman and her husband Wayne.
Momma had a deep connection to her grandchildren. They all lived close and she saw them on a daily basis. They each received part of their Nanny’s heart and you can see that connection differently in each of them, but the commonality is their servant’s heart.
Templin Hardee is the oldest and his wife Jennifer. Then came Merritt Wallace whose husband is Sean, then Sandy Hardee and his wife is Talon, next was Sarah Hardee who is soon to be married to Jay Chapman (who Momma loved already).
A few years went by and Josh Baumbach came along followed by Hannah Chapman, Lille Baumbach, and the baby, Gates Chapman. In 2015 generation three started and Jayce Hardee, Kistler Hardee, and Nora Wallace would finish out the family during Momma’s lifetime.
Momma was one of five children. Her brothers, John “Frankie” Templin and Kenny Templin, have since gone to be with the Lord. Her sister, Sammie Lacy, lives in Atlanta and her baby sister, Faye Eldridge, and her husband, Moe, live across the street from Momma. Daddy’s sisters, Sunnee, Gail and Pat were Momma’s “sisters” too for over 60 years.
]Momma’s funeral was held Friday, April 22, 2022, at 2 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church. Our family greeted visitors following the service at The Grand Old Post Office, located directly across the street.
The grandchildren and some of our family and friends presented our guests with a host of cakes, pies and other delightful desserts prepared from Momma’s recipes she passed down to them over the years. Momma loved to bake and she was good at it. Her family is too!
At a later time, Momma will be buried in the presence of her close family at Grove Hill Cemetery beside Daddy.
Memorials are suggested to Croswell Children’s Home, 11 Croswell Dr., Sumter, SC 29150, or to Epworth’s Children’s Home in Columbia.
— J. Todd Hardee