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James E. Hardman

Pine Bluff, AR, 1936 - 2022

James Everett Hardman was born in Fordyce, Ark., on September 18, 1936 to the late Aubrey and Oneida Spears Hardman. He passed away on November 2, 2022 in Hope, Ark.
He attended school in Fordyce and was a proud graduate of the class of 1954. He played center for the Fordyce Redbugs football team under Coach Jimmy "Red" Parker. James joined the Army National Guard and was federalized for the Little Rock Nine at Central High School in 1957.
He met the love of his life, Betty Smith Hardman, at the Dixie Dog drive-in in Fordyce. They married in 1959 and were married for more than 63 years before her passing in August.
James worked for Georgia Pacific as a lumber grader for several years before going to work for the Cotton Belt Railroad, which later became Union Pacific Railroad. He worked as a conductor for the railroad for 35 years. He is a lifetime member of the United Transportation Union.
James enjoyed being outdoors. He loved to deer hunt and was a member of Word Deer Camp for 60 years. He also liked to squirrel hunt and fish.
James loved sports, whether it was watching his children and grandchildren play or watching games on television. He loved attending the Redbugs football games. He was a big Arkansas Razorbacks fan and a football season ticket holder for more than 50 years. He was also a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals.
James was a member of Watson Chapel Baptist Church.
James is survived by his three daughters, Elizabeth (Johnny) Thompson of Washington, Laura (Scott) McFalls of Pine Bluff, and Rebekah (Landon) Wade of Ruston, La.; six grandchildren, Sara (Jonathan) Bottoms of Gould, Clay (Lainey) Thompson of Hughes Springs, Texas, Bryan Thompson of Washington, Lauren McFalls of Pine Bluff, Drew Wade of Ruston, La., and Ava Grace Wade of Ruston, La.; five great-grandchildren; Karson and Korbin Thompson of Hughes Springs, Texas, Charleigh and Chandler Bottoms of Gould, and Ryleigh Rushing of Pine Bluff; two sisters, Sue (James) Poole of Fordyce, and Judy (David) Clemons of Thornton and brother-in-law, Lathan Erwin of Fordyce; and many beloved nieces and nephews.
James was preceded in death by his wife, Betty; his parents; his sister, Sandra Erwin; and his infant brother, Jerry Hardman.
The family would like to especially thank James' caregiver and friend, Cheryl Maxfield.
The visitation will be held at Benton Funeral Home, Fordyce, on Friday, November 4, 2022, from 6-8 p.m. The memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 5, 2022, at 10 a.m. at Watson Chapel Baptist Church, Pine Bluff, with a graveside service at Stoney Point Cemetery at Bucksnort at 12 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Stoney Point Cemetery Perpetual Care Fund, 1337 Highway 229, Fordyce, Ark. 71742. Arrangements by Benton Funeral Home of Fordyce, Ark. To sign the online register visit

Published November 4, 2022

Benton Funeral Home Inc.
501 West 4th Street, Fordyce, AR
Phone: 870-352-3131