This is how his family remembers him: as a man who could make you laugh until you cried. A man who loved to fish and to play golf and who could, in moments of stress and sadness, lift the spirits of others. Gerald F. Hardacre's family could use him now. "It leaves a big hole," said his older brother, Larry.
Hardacre, 62, was returning from visiting a daughter in Boston when United Airlines Flight 175 was hijacked and flown into the World Trade Center's south tower. A memorial was held Tuesday at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Carlsbad, Calif., where Hardacre had lived for 20 years.
The son of a Navy man, Hardacre spent his early childhood traveling the world before the family settled in San Diego. After graduating from San Diego State University, he became an environmental engineer and was a founding member of the San Diego Industrial Environmental Assn.
Hardacre's family said he had a gift for weaving sad stories, often about himself, into great yarns. Born with a bad foot, Hardacre walked with a limp and liked to tell of the childhood Boy Scout hiking trip on which he arose at 4 a.m. to get a head start. "They would catch up to him and give him lunch. Then they'd pass him. Then he would catch up to them after dinner. Then he would go to bed and do it all over again," his brother said. "The way Gerry tells that story, with him limping off in the distance . . . it used to make me laugh so hard there would be tears rolling down my face."
In addition to his brother, Hardacre is survived by his wife, Judy, and his daughters, Kristen Hunter and Colleen Hardacre.
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