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CFMS President 1979

Jessie Hardman


On Sunday morning, June 25, 2000, the gem and mineral hobby lost a dear friend and dedicated participant when Jessie Hardman succumbed to pancreatic cancer. She had been diagnosed in the latter part of April and had been receiving hospice care at home. Her daughter, Susan Webb, living in Pennsylvania, came to care for Jessie in her Long Beach home at that time. Susan says that she was assisted and supported greatly in this effort by Catherine and Frank Manus, members of the Long Beach Mineral and Gem Society, who lightened her task immeasurably. Jessie is survived by her daughter and two granddaughters, Patricia in Georgia and Catherine in Pennsylvania, and by a son in Houston, Texas. Jessie had just attained her 88th birthday.

Jessie and her late husband, Harvey, became involved in minerals early in their marriage while on a trip to Mexico. They belonged to several gem and mineral clubs in Southern California including the Long Beach Mineral and Gem Society, Southern California Micro-Mineralogists, and Mineralogical Society of Southern California, and Jessie had held offices in each and every one of them. One of her fellow members recently said, "There wasn't a job that Jessie wouldn't accept." Harvey and Jessie were avid mineral collectors. She was a frequent exhibitor at local, CFMS, and AFMS gem and mineral shows. Jessie loved trading thumbnail and micro-mineral specimens with folks around the world and traveled extensively during her lifetime. During her travels she visited many of the Clubs overseas and made friends with their members. Jessie was one of the CFMS Podium People for many years, giving slide programs and presentations to member Clubs based on her travels and extensive mineralogical knowledge.

Jessie worked as a Physical Education instructor in the Long Beach Unified School District and at Long Beach City College, and in the Long Beach Recreation Department for many years, teaching both women's and men's sports. She also was on staff at the Campfire Girls organization in Long Beach following her retirement. Jessie's involvement with teaching young people was a source of great gratification to her. Because of her love of teaching, I and her family feel it would be appropriate that donations in Jessie's memory be made to the CFMS Scholarship Fund.

In 1979, Jessie served as CFMS President. She received the Golden Bear Award in 1980. She was on the CFMS Museum Committee for several years, and was named CFMS Scholarship Honoree in the 19841985 year. Jessie was at one time Chairman of the CFMS Rules Committee and wrote the first CFMS Show Guidelines. Until the past couple of years, she served as a judge for CFMS and AFMS Shows. Jessie was the CFMS Honoree to the AFMS Scholarship Fund in 1993.

Jessie served on the first AFMS Uniform Rules Committee and authored the first Exhibitor's Handbook, along with many articles on judging and on Federation history.

Jessie was inducted into the National Rockhound and Lapidary Hall of Fame in December of 1999.

Jessie's comprehensive collection has been given principally to the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History Gem and Mineral Section, where she was a weekly volunteer for many years. Other friends and mineral groups, such as Southern California Micro-Mineralogists, also received some of her specimens. Recently the Museum dedicated their California Mineral Exhibit to her. She started volunteering at the Museum in the early 1960's. Jessie was a founding member of the Los Angeles County Museum's Gem and Mineral Council.

Cards and letters may be sent to Mrs. Susan Webb at 77 Roundwood Circle, Collegeville, PA 19426-2887

By Beverly Moreau

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