Inez L. Hardwig, 93, of Littlefork, Minnesota, died peacefully on Wednesday, March 10, 2021.
She was born March 8, 1928 in Kalispell, Montana.
Inez was very unique, truly ambitious and like so many of us a mixture of personality traits. She had a wonderful smile, infectious laughter, a good sense of humor, and could laugh at herself. She was a loving and devoted mother in so many ways, never forgot us even when dementia was at its worst.
Inez was a hard worker from her youth, she helped her parents, Mabel and Martin Bjerke run the Dew Drop Inn Tavern. From ages 18-22 she was a drug store clerk, waitress, and also cleaned houses.
She married Richard Hardwig and together they raised 4 children. She helped run the farm; first dairy, pigs, beef cattle, chickens, large gardens, bailed hay, worked in the fields, the barn, and at home. She was also a waitress at the Big Spoon Café in Littlefork with her close friend Mary Thydean.
In the early years, Inez and Dick square danced, went on horseback riding trips, and socialized with friends. She loved organizing and hosting card parties, camping trips, and family reunions. Her children’s classmates and friends were always welcome to join overnight stays, camping and fishing trips. She taught many to play card and board games; she was skilled at cross word puzzles and scrabble.
When there was not a 4-H Group available she recruited parents to help organize and chaperone the Cingmars Township group of teens to play softball, have parties, and picnics.
She was famous for her professionally decorated cakes, candy making, and sewing clothing such as wedding gowns, prom dresses, a three-piece lined jacket, vest suits, swimsuits, and even jeans. She often gifted cakes and candies to many. She was very well loved by her children’s teachers and fellow students as she supplied many cookies and sheet cakes.
She was an avid nature and animal lover. She fed birds, raised and released monarch butterflies by the hundreds, and loved pets; in her later years she was devoted to her cats.
Inez partnered with Richard and later son Cameron to run a family business, Northern Timberline Equipment. She was a self-taught typist, bookkeeper, and computer operator. During her time with the family business, she formed numerous wonderful relationships with customers. The coffee and cookies were always on. To this day many customers ask about and compliment what a wonderful person Inez was.
In her golden years she worked jigsaw puzzles daily. Her main topics of conversation were about her beloved cat guys, Hemmingway and Oscar and also whatever puzzle she was doing that day.
She was preceded in death by her parents; Mabel and Martin Bjerke; husband, Richard; son, Shawn Hardwig; and daughter, Darci Baker.
Survivors include daughter, SanDee Hardwig; son, Cameron (Jodie) Hardwig; grandson, Jacoby Baker; granddaughters, JoJean (Andy) Kittelson, Jeena (John) Schmit; great-grandchildren, Julian and Jenaya Kittelson, Jayden and Jacksyn Ginter, and Sawyer and Skyler Schmit.
A special thank you to Al and Marie Jensen and their family for their care and comfort of Inez during her time of need.
A private funeral service will be conducted at the Littlefork Lutheran Church in Littlefork on March 27, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. The service will be available via livestream on The Littlefork Lutheran Facebook page.
If so desired, donations in her memory would be preferred Littlefork Lutheran Church and Borderland Humane Society, 1990 Valley Pine Circle, Intl Falls, Minnesota 56649.
Condolences may be left at www.greenlarsen.com.
Arrangements are with Green-Larsen Mortuary, Inc.