Veteran pathology professor well loved by students
John Hardman / 1933-2006
Dr. John Hardman "was never without his students" at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine, said Dr. Rosanne Harrigan.
"He dedicated his whole life to them," said Harrigan, director of faculty development and chairwoman of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Department.
Beloved by students and respected and admired by his colleagues, the chairman of the school's Department of Pathology died May 17 from cancer. He was 73.
"Dr. Hardman was a gentle guiding force and powerful inspiration," said Dr. T. Samuel Shomaker, the school's interim dean, adding that he would be deeply missed.
Students invited Hardman to their events and asked him to give the convocation address for the class of 2006 on May 13. He had difficulty speaking, so medical school Associate Dean Damon Sakai read his remarks.
"I want to say that my greatest joy in life has always been looking forward to meeting and graduating another class of physicians," Hardman wrote. "Now I find myself being taken care of by JABSOM graduates who are among the best physicians I know."
Hardman emphasized to his students first of all to "truly enjoy being a physician."
The class surrounded his wheelchair for their graduation photo and gave him a plaque with a paddle "for being the steersman of countless medical students and for helping us navigate the vast sea of medical knowledge ... so that each of us may realize our dreams."
The "Hardman Paddle" will be placed on the third floor with a portrait of the professor that the pathology residents are having done, Harrigan said.
Students held a special gathering with Hardman and his family May 12 and gave him a memory book, she said.
Third-year medical student Yvonne Tatsumura said Hardman "made a point to spend time with us outside the classroom, to get to know us as individuals, to give us encouragement." She said he was at the school "virtually to the end."
Hardman taught more than 1,500 pathology students and mentored more than 100 resident pathologists during his 29 years at the school. He received many awards for excellence in teaching.
He earned his medical degree from the University of Colorado School of Medicine and pathology degree from Baylor University.
He served 23 years in the U.S. Army, retiring as a colonel in 1977. He served as chief of the pathology department at Walter Reed Army Center and worked at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, D.C., Brooke General Hospital in San Antonio and Tripler Army Medical Center.
After retiring from the Army, he worked as a neuropathologist with the Clinical Laboratories of Hawaii and at Tripler. He was a medical staff member at five local hospitals and published widely on pathological illnesses, including a study on brain damage to boxers.
Hardman was active in numerous professional and community organizations as well as on the board of directors of the UH Professional Assembly.
UHPA Associate Director John Radcliffe said Hardman "is simply not replaceable." He led by example, with a "code that put the needs of the many first," Radcliffe said.
Survivors include wife Maggie, children Scott Hardman and Shari Irwin, and grandchildren Annie Hardman and Taylor, Jared and Jordy Irwin. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to UH Foundation, c/o Hardman Endowment, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, 651 Ilalo St., Honolulu 96813-5534.
A memorial service will be announced at a later date.