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84 Lumber’s founder dies on his 100th birthday

By 01/09/2023 9:54 AMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff

Developer of the Nemacolin resort and founder of the 84 Lumber chain of building supply stores, Joseph Hardy III, has passed away.

He was 100.

A description on the firm’s website stated that he passed away on his 100th birthday Saturday “surrounded by his loving family singing Broadway show tunes to console him at his home in Farmington,” according to a family statement issued by the company.

Amy Smiley, vice president of marketing at 84 Lumber, said, “many knew Joe as a talented businessman and enthusiastic entrepreneur.”

“Despite his enormous success, Joe never lost sight of what matters: people. Many credit him for making the American dream a reality; he will be deeply missed.

Hardy is credited with “rethinking the lumber business in the late 1950s with a cash-and-carry approach focused on professional contractors and builders,” according to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

He later expanded the business to become the country’s largest privately owned building materials supplier.

Additionally, he built the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort & Spa, now simply known as Nemacolin, and got into the harness racing industry by opening the Meadows Racetrack in North Strabane Township, Washington County.

Hardy, born in Pittsburgh on January 7, 1923, attended Lehigh University and enlisted in the American military during his final year there.

Radioman with the Army Air Corps during World War II.

After the war, he worked in the family’s jewelry store, graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in industrial engineering, and founded Green Hills Lumber with family and a friend.

84 Lumber, the company’s name (taken from the town where it was founded), now has more than 250 stores nationwide.

“What’s next? was a question my father frequently posed.

In the profile, his daughter Maggie Hardy—to whom he gave ownership of 84 Lumber and Nemacolin Resort—was quoted as saying, ” He was driven to overcome the next obstacle or create something even better. He encouraged us to strive to improve yesterday’s performance and never be satisfied.

In a statement, the Hardy family noted that by willfully waiting until his 100th birthday, Hardy had demonstrated “that nothing is impossible,” making them “beyond proud of him for completing this ultimate feat.”

With more than 5,600 people and more than $3.9 billion in annual revenue, 84 Lumber owns and runs more than 250 locations throughout 30 states in the United States.

It now serves as the construction industry’s largest privately held provider of construction supplies.

Hardy will have a burial service on Thursday at Westminster Presbyterian Church, followed by full military honors and a private cemetery.

Eight children and fifteen grandchildren survive him.



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