Porter County Sheriff's Department


In Memory

Robert Russell Hardesty

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Date of Birth March 16, 1965

Appointed to the FBI December 30, 2001

Died in the Line of Duty June 2, 2005

 

Rob was born in Gary, Indiana on March 16, 1965 to Alfred and Patricia Hardesty.  He was raised in Portage and graduated from Portage High School in 1983.  He went on to study Criminology at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana.  In 1986, while attending ISU, he met Toni Durall and they dated for six years before marrying on May 30, 1992.

 Everyone who knew Rob knew that his dream was to some day work for the FBI.  After he graduated from ISU, he went to work for the Indiana State Excise Police and although he loved his job, he always wanted more.  He always had a desire to go as far in law enforcement as possible.  Eventually he went to work at the Porter County Sheriff’s Department where he quickly rose to Sergeant and then to Lieutenant.  Rob was a hard worker and detail-oriented man.  He never did anything without giving it 100% and expected that out of everyone around him.  He was so excited when the Sheriff’s Department decided to form a SWAT team—it was one of his greatest passions.  He spent a lot of time talking about SWAT, watching movies about SWAT and reading books to learn more about SWAT.  In November 2001, he finally got “the call.”  It was what he waited almost ten years for—to become a Special Agent.  After graduating from the Academy, he was assigned to a resident agency in Bloomington/Normal in the Springfield Division.  As soon as he could, he tried out for the Springfield Division's SWAT team and was excited to be doing what he loved most about his career.

 Rob not only excelled at his job, he excelled at everything he did.  He worked hard to be a devoted husband and the best dad any child could dream of.  He was the father of two beautiful girls--Sydney 10 and Carly 7.  He was a protective, strict and nurturing father.  He loved teaching the girls sports and just spending quality time with them.  One of my best memories was when he taught the girls to ride a bike without training wheels.  He explained every small detain to them so that they would know exactly how to have the pedals positioned, how hard to push off and when to keep their balance.  It was a beautiful sight seeing him run behind their bicycles just long enough to set them free when they got it.  Even though it is such a tragedy that his time was so short lived with us, we will always cherish the time we had and be thankful that we had more in that short time with him than some people ever have in their lifetime.

 Last year Rob decided to take RCIA instruction to become Catholic.  At the beginning of class, Rob was asked what brought him to RDIA.  His response was that he wanted to set a good example for his children.  It was not hard to see that shortly into his studies of the Catholic religion the Rob was not just participating in RCIA to set a good example for his children—he was excited to learn and understand every aspect of the religion.  He went faithfully to class every Sunday morning a t 7:30 AM (even though early morning was not Rob’s favorite time of the day!) and never once hesitated and always gave 100% to learn everything he possibly could.  Rob was proud to finally be able to receive Communion at the Easter Vigil.

 Rob was so many wonderful things it is hard to list them all.  He was a devoted father and loving husband.  He was the son that any parent would be proud of or want their daughter to marry.  He was the brother and friend that anyone would wan to call their own.  He was also a wonderful uncle and will be sadly missed by all who loved him.

 

Funeral Services

 

Tributes

Chicago Police Department Memorial

3rd Annual Run To Remember

Robert R. Hardesty FBI

Field Office Headquarters Building

Dedication Ceremony December 15, 2005

Motorcycle Run to Benefit

the Family of Rob Hardesty

September 18, 2005

 

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