David Hardin was born in Whittier, California, in 1947, the first son of Paul and Lois Hardin. He went to Whittier schools, graduating from Pioneer High School in 1965, and Whittier College, in 1969. He met Marilyn at Pioneer H.S., and they were married in 1967. David and Marilyn moved to Bishop CA in 1969 so Dave could start his teaching career at Home Street Middle School. “Mr. Hardin” taught over 4000 students in his 33 years there. He taught Drama, 5th, 6th, and 7th grades. They adopted their son Robert in 1984.
David had many interests: Astronomy (He taught himself the night sky at 11), music (piano, accordion, violin, trombone, and percussion), theater (actor, director, vocalist, vocal director, set builder, and stage crew for the original and current Playhouse 395), rail fan and model railroading, flying (he got his pilot’s license in 1981), life science, camping, and genealogy. He loved to share these interests and skills with his students, friends, and various groups over the years. Most recently he played the piano and taught songs to preschool children for their Christmas and Graduation programs, where he was “Mr. Dave”.
In 1971 Dave and Marilyn moved to Starlite Estates, where he built three houses. He served on the Starlite Community Services District Board for 20 years, where he became known as “the Godfather of Starlite”.
In retirement, he was an Interpretive Ranger at the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. He was known as “Ranger Dave” over the 9 seasons he worked there. He loved being at the Visitor Center, greeting visitors from around the world, and sharing his knowledge of the trees.
Dave is survived by his wife of 52 years, Marilyn, son Robert (Nicole) Hardin, father Paul Hardin, brother Ken (Julie) Hardin, niece Cathy Hardin (Jeremy Pagan), nephew Kurt (Cally) Hardin, nephew Tony Taylor, great-nieces and great-nephews, nieces Lisa, Gina and Lindsay, an aunt, two cousins, father-in-law Lester Herring, sister-in-law Carrol (Roy) Bowerman, brother-in-law Ric (Linda) Herring, sister-in-law Karen (Bill) Brown, nephews Jim Bowerman, Ryan Herring, nieces Shannon Murray, Cindy (Marcus) Ray, Aubri (Glenn) Johnson, and Megan Herring. Dave was predeceased by his mother, Lois, and his brother, Don.
David A. Hardin passed peacefully from prostate cancer at his home in Starlite Estates on June 19th surrounded by his wife, son, daughter in-law, and dog Koheda. There are no immediate plans for a gathering; the family will hold a celebration of his life once circumstances allow.
In lieu of flowers or cards please consider a donation to the Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association (https://sierraforever.org/join-us/), Playhouse 395 (http://www.playhouse395.com/membership.html), Hospice of the Owen’s Valley https://www.pioneerhomehealth.com/about-us/donate/ or ICARE (http://www.icareforpets.org/index.html).