Obituary: Jack Martin Hardy
November 29, 1938 – October 25, 2021
A remarkable man gone too soon. Jack M. Hardy peacefully passed away on Monday, October 25th. Jack was born on November 29, 1938 in San Diego, California where he remained throughout his childhood. He graduated from San Diego State University after a tour in the United States Marine Corp and he remained a dedicated and loyal veteran throughout his life.
Jack began his near 40-year career in the hospitality industry working for the Del Webb Company. He began working as a bus boy and after 12 years became a hotel facility general manager. His tenure with Del Webb was highlighted with the opening of the Kuilima Resort Hotel in Hawaii (now known as The Turtle Bay Resort).
In 1974, Jack joined the Hyatt Hotels Corporation. He was tasked with reopening a failed hotel that Hyatt purchased in Incline Village, Nevada. That was no small feat. That hotel is now known as the Hyatt Recency Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel & Casino. Jack held many leadership roles within the Lake Tahoe community including President of the Chamber of Commerce and President of the Lake Tahoe Rotary Club.
During his successful career with Hyatt, he was promoted from General Manager to Regional Vice President and then to Senior Vice President for the U.S. Western Division. He ended his career as the Vice President and Managing Director of the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando, Florida, a sprawling resort with 1500 acres and numerous amenities.
On the national level, Jack served on the Board of Directors for the American Hotel & Lodging Association, sitting on the Resort Committee. In the community, Jack served on advisory boards for the University of Central Florida and Webber International University and served for 8 years on the Give Kids the World Board of Directors.
Jack has received numerous recognitions over the years, including the Hyatt General Manager of the Year (1980), Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association Hotelier of the Year (1995), Resort Executive of the Year (1996), Florida Hotelier of the Year (2000) and was the first recipient of the Jay Pritzker Award.
Jack enjoyed a very busy and eventful retirement. He and his dear wife, Dianna, moved to Prescott, Arizona where they made many new friends and a fulfilling life for themselves. Jack’s passion for remote control airplanes drew him to the Casa de Aero Flying Club. He immersed himself in the club activities and quickly became the President of the club. The friendships he enjoyed through the club helped him though the difficult days after losing his beloved Dianna in 2017.
Jack’s professional accomplishments were many, but his legacy as a leader, a mentor and someone who built and maintained lasting relationships is what really defined him. He treated people with respect and dignity, always there to help when needed. He took pride in getting to know all of his employees and their families. He was the most genuine person you would ever have the privilege of knowing.
His impact as a leader and mentor can be summed up by a recent correspondence he received from an employee he worked with 25 years ago at the Grand Cypress Resort. She had been reviewing her resume and felt the need to reach out to Jack to say thank you for his impact on her career and life. He encouraged her to reach for big goals, to move to another hotel for her first official Human Resource Director position. He gave her the confidence to try new things which resulted in some of the brightest highlights of her career. Her parting words to him were, “I can’t overstate how grateful I am for the years of mentoring and all that you did to kickstart my career and LIFE!” Those words describe the life of Jack Hardy.
Jack was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Dianna. His survived by his daughter Kris Limardi (husband David), his son Jack Hardy (wife Patricia) his four grandchildren, Jack Slattery, Alexis Hardy, Lauren Hardy and William Slattery, his sister Patricia Kneitz, brother George Hardy, and his many loving nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a financial contribution to a charity dear to Jack. The Veterans Airlift Command at 5775 Wayzata Blvd., Suite 700, St Lewis Park, MN 55416 to the attention of Jen Salvati.
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