Mary “Molly” Mitchell Hardy

Mary “Molly” Mitchell Hardy, 85, passed away peacefully in Red Lodge. Montana, on Jan. 25, 2018.

Although she impressed all those who knew her as consistently gentle and kind, these qualities were matched by a fierce, lifelong commitment to equality and justice. She was a consummate Liberal (with a capital “L”). Cross her values, and you would immediately invite a spirited, formidably informed counter argument.

She is survived by her children: Lee Hobart, Art Hobart, Wanda Hobart (Dotty Pakieser), Eric Hobart (Elaine Moran), and Craig Hobart (Sabrina Wright-Hobart); grandchildren Donna McConnell George, Joe and Mike Hobart, Rachel Hobart, Chance and Cassidy Wright-Hobart, and great grandchildren Quaid George, Macy Hobart and Payoopayoo Hobart. She is also survived by her cherished sister Clare Witcomb and beloved brother Samuel Hardy. She is preceded in death by her daughter Michele Hobart (Tom Owens) and sister Shera Roberson.

Molly grew up in the outskirts of St. Louis, Missouri, daughter of Samuel J. Hardy, Jr. and Mary Charles Mitchell. It was a tight-knit family governed by a no-nonsense father and an animated mother. It’s likely the roots of Molly’s interests in justice and equality were a result of her mother’s influence who canceled her membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) when they refused to allow opera singer Marian Anderson to perform at the DAR Constitution Hall.

All members of the Hardy family loved music, at a time when you made most yourself. Anytime two of them met, they were sure to join in singing “Little Joe the Wrangler.” Molly had an unending appreciation of the written word and a keen appetite for information.

She was passionately interested in a breadth of topics. At a time when not many women went to college, she studied art at Washington University, St. Louis. A class with an inspiring geology teacher convinced her to change her major to earth sciences, and she graduated with a degree in geology. Although she was unable to get a job as a geologist at that time due to cultural attitudes about women taking work as field geologists, she took an office job with a geology company.

During her marriage to Bob Hobart (also a geologist) Molly lived in many places including New Orleans, Lousianna; Denver, Colorado; Casper, Wyoming; Red Wash, Utah; and Vernal, Utah. In the late 60’s while living in Red Wash, a remote geological field camp, she managed to keep very busy with their family of six children.

After raising her children, Molly resumed working in the field she loved and secured a position with Champlin Petroleum Company in Denver. When she left Champlin, a volunteer position driving a bookmobile led to her final career position at University of Denver’s Law Library. Upon her retirement, she moved to Red Lodge to live with her sister Clare where they were “the awesome twosome.”

Molly exemplified kindness, love, generosity, perseverance and respect that friends and family will miss. She consistently supported many organizations like Planned Parenthood, Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary and National Public Radio (NPR.) In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Molly’s name to one of these organizations or the charitable organization of your choice.

“Say not in grief that she is no more, but say in thankfulness that she was.” R. Tagore

There will be a celebration of Molly’s life in Red Lodge this summer, date to be announced.


Upcoming Events

  • Monday, July 22, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Joliet Group meets at the Community Center Monday at 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Now Group meets at the Bridger United Methodist Church, 222 W. Broadway (west entrance of church) Tuesday at 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 25, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Meets every Thursday, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation, 122 S. Hauser. It is open to all. 425- 1755.
  • Thursday, July 25, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Clarks Fork Group meets at St. Joseph’s Catholic Hall, north end of Montana Avenue, Thursday at 7 p.m.
  • Friday, July 26, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Rock Creek Group meets Tuesdays and Saturdays at 8 a.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays at 7 p.m. at Calvary Church, 9 N Villard, Red Lodge.
  • Monday, July 29, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Joliet Group meets at the Community Center Monday at 7 p.m.

The Carbon County News

Street Address:

11 N. Broadway, Red Lodge, MT 59068

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 970, Red Lodge, MT 59068

Phone: 406-446-2222

Fax: 406-446-2225

Toll-Free: 800-735-8843

Open: Monday-Friday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.