Mae Eppinger Hardy—beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and aunt to scores of nieces and nephews—died peacefully on Sunday, January 3, 2021, surrounded by loving family. She was born at home on November 16, 1918, to Clarence Clermont and Minnie Griffin Eppinger. The doctor who delivered her also delivered the news that World War I had just ended. She was pre-deceased by her husband, Sutton L. Hardy, on April 11, 1977. Following his death, she divided her time between Covington, Georgia and Tucson, Arizona. A devoted member of First Baptist Church of Covington since 1960, she walked to Sunday services, rain or shine, well beyond her hundredth year. One of eleven children reared on a farm in Pike County, Georgia, she adored her family and the natural world. She was a passionate gardener: native azaleas, heirloom bulbs and roses, irises, and hydrangeas filled her yard with multicolored glory every spring. Her strength, courage, compassion, resilience, and grace inspired everyone who knew her. As one of her dear friends said, “She has marked me for life with her gentle, kind spirit and her heart for others.”
Mae is survived by her daughters and sons-in-law, Dr. Susan Hardy Aiken of Tucson, Arizona (husband, Dr. Chris Carroll, deceased), Kathie and Terry Smith of Covington, and Jan and Bill Berning of Sycamore, Illinois; her grandchildren, Jamey Aiken of Tucson and Atlanta, Alden Carroll of Tucson, Dr. Katherine Smith and her husband Robert Soens of Decatur, Susannah Smith and her husband Brian Krehmeyer of Dunwoody, Jonathan Miller and his fiancée Heather Snyder of Massena, New York, Celeste Miller of Sycamore, Illinois, and Nathaniel Miller and his wife Kelly of Lake in the Hills, Illinois; and great-grandchildren, Maddock Thomas, Sutton Soens, Hardy Krehmeyer, Kerns Krehmeyer, Kailey Weitendorf, Jaxon Miller, Addyson Miller, and Samuel Miller.
A memorial service will be held at a later time. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that tributes be sent to First Baptist Church of Covington or to a charity of your choice.
This obituary was prepared with love and affection by Mae’s family.