Robert Russell Hardesty
Bureau of Investigation
Birth March 16, 1965
to the FBI December 30, 2001
the Line of Duty June 2, 2005
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.
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.
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.
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.
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