A founder of the Lakelands Day Care Hospice in Corby was laid to rest yesterday (April 16) in the church where he had worshipped for more than 40 years.
Friends and family said their final farewell to Corby legend Vic Hardy, 98, at a funeral service held at St Peters and St Andrew Church in Beanfield Avenue.
Vic had been a church warden there for 13 years and had been an active part of the congregation since moving to the town from Peterborough in the 1960s for a job in the buying department of the town’s steelworks.
During an emotional 90-minute service led by Father Anthony Searle, family members and friends paid tribute to and remembered the remarkable man who gave more than 30 years of his retirement to making sure the Lakelands Day Care Hospice was built and then thrived.
Nephew Bill Hardy told mourners about Vic’s early life growing up in Fletton and his active service in the Second World War, which saw him serve in Egypt and Italy.
His niece spoke of Vic’s passion for his family, his mischievous sense of humour and two mottos that he lived by – ‘always look on the bright side of life’ and ‘where there’s a will there’s a way’.
And bowls partner Trevor Anderson spoke of Vic’s involvement with the Grampian Bowls Club of which he was president for many years.
Vic, whose wife Sue died in 2002, came to public prominence in the late 1980s when he joined cancer patient Jean Clark in her mission to build a cancer hospice for the town.
Together the pair along with fellow founder Ray Burke – who sadly died last year – and a team of volunteers, raised just under £1m to build the hospice which stands today in Butland Road on the Oakley Vale estate.
The Northants Evening Telegraph took on the appeal in June 1992 and helped bring it to a wider audience, helping take funds from just over £200,000 to £600,000.
People from across the north of the county went on a fundraising frenzy with thousands being added to the total each week.
The centre opened in July 2001 and since then has helped thousands of people with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses.
Vic, who was made an MBE in 2002 for his services to charity, always said his dedication to Lakelands was spurred on by his desire to pay back Corby for giving him a good life and was also driven by his devout Christian faith.
Fundraiser Paul Marlow, who was a close friend of Vic’s, paid an emotional tribute to the man who he saw as a mentor and said he was still devising plans for the day care hospice in his final weeks.
The service included the hymns How Great Thou Art and A Channel of Your Peace and along with the readings were all chosen by Vic before he died.