With sadness yet grateful for a full life well lived, the Hardy family announces that their mother passed away peacefully at the Arnprior and District Memorial Hospital with loved ones by her side on Tuesday morning, January 9, 2024 at the age of 91 years. Beloved wife of the late James Malcolm Hardy. Loved, respected and cherished mother of Dean (Karen), Monte (Cathy), Bobby (deceased), Terry (Danielle) and Jonathan (Kami). Adored and proud Grandma of Jasmine, Joel, Nathan, Rhys (Jenna), Stephen (Alexcene), Arielle, Kendra (deceased), Esther, Michaela,Joah, Jeremiah (Sophia), Jared (Sarah), Nicholas, Lily, Grace, Elizabeth, Jessica, Rochelle, Avy, Kate, MeiLi, and Great-Grandma of Bentley, Carson, Adrianna. Beloved sister-in-law, aunt and great-aunt to many in her extended family.
Daughter of the late Granville Harrison “Bud” “G.H.” and the late Paula Clyde (nee Marshall) Montgomery. Dear sister of William “Bill” Montgomery (late Millie) (Nell) and Flossie Jean Scrivner (Ken). Predeceased by three sisters: Sara Rowena Snyder (late Scott), Bonnie Eller (late Jim) and infant Virginia Merle Montgomery and a brother, Granville Harrison II “Buddy” (late Barbara).
Paula is remembered as a woman of faith, dedicating her life to introducing others to Jesus Christ. She expressed her faith through her worship in songs and hymns in many Deaf churches through American Sign Language. She spent many of her retirement days attending church through zoom, reading God’s Word, praying and expressing her worship to God, her creator. Many women remember her as a mentor, encourager and joyful woman. She was an avid quilter, knitter and crocheter as she continued to meet Deaf women in the Lanark, Ontario area regularly during her retirement years. She was also a trailblazer as the first Deaf woman missionary from North America to a foreign country (Jamaica). She is also remembered as a passionate and inspirational teacher that encompassed her career both in the foreign field and at the collegiate level.
Paula was a committed and loving wife to Jim, as they journeyed together in this life in Jamaica, the US and Canada. Paula was invested in her boys and was always there to encourage us in our choices in life. She loved being a grandmother and great-grandmother as she was proud of each of them as they grew up before her eyes.
Paula was born in Linden, New Jersey on April 11, 1932 and attended various Deaf schools in the USA. After graduating from business college in the 1950s, she felt called to the mission field in reaching others for Christ. She became a missionary to the Deaf in Jamaica (“The land that I love”) in 1957 and taught until 1969. Her husband joined her in 1960 after their marriage. After initially teaching in Kingston, Jamaica, she co-founded the Deaf school in Knockpatrick (near Mandeville) in 1958. During her years as a teacher, she strived to provide Jamaican Deaf children and youth with an education equal to standard schooling in a place where they could thrive using their first language, sign language. She was recognized as one of the co-founders at the Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf at the 50th anniversary and was a keynote speaker at the 60th anniversary. Paula and Jim were fondly remembered by many of their students for their support and care in their education and practical skills.
Paula and Jim returned to Toronto, Ontario in 1969 along with their three sons with the intention of returning to Jamaica. God had a different plan and their journey was on a path that led them to remain in Ontario for the rest of their lives. Paula and Jim began fostering Deaf youth after the birth of their fourth son and moved to Woodbridge, Ontario in 1973 to open one of three foster homes under the Ontario Mission for the Deaf. Paula and Jim were one of the first three Deaf couples to operate a group home for Deaf people in Ontario. Their work was mostly with troubled adolescent Deaf boys from across Canada. Many of these boys fondly call Paula their second Mom, and felt they were part of the Hardy family. They continued to operate the foster home until 1985.
Paula also had a long career working at George Brown College (GBC) as a teacher for 19 years starting in 1975. She began her career teaching English and preparatory classes in 1975. In 1977, she became a full-time staff working in various programs, in what is now known as the Deaf Education Centre at GBC, supporting Deaf college students towards success until her retirement in 1995. She attended the 50th anniversary of the ASL and Deaf Studies Program in the fall of 2023 where she reunited with many old colleagues and former students. She was always remembered as a positive and supportive staff member by all.
Although she was humble, she exhibited service to others in many capacities including the Ontario Camp for the Deaf (Parry Sound), the Deaf Women for Christ (Toronto), the Evangelical Church of the Deaf (Toronto), and several other churches. She also received recognition from the Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf Hall of Fame (1978) and was a Canadian recipient for the Quota ‘International Deaf Woman of the Year’ (1985), South Carolina School for the Deaf Sports Hall of Fame (1999 for basketball).
Final care has been entrusted to the
Pilon Family Funeral Home and Chapel Ltd., 50 John Street North, Arnprior.
A celebration of Paula’s life will be held on August 10, 2024 at 1:00 p.m. at the Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf in Toronto, Ontario (2395 Bayview Avenue)
For the Celebration of Life Service the artistic members of the family are working on a visual representation of the many hearts Paula's life has touched through her 91 year earthly journey. If you would like your name to be added to this memorial please give us your name with your contact point (i.e. CCCD, DWC, ECD, GBC, Camp, OVDC, etc.) or country and a 'heart' emoji in the tribute wall so your name can be added along with all the other names of hearts she has touched. We are happy to write your name for especially those who are unable to attend, but still want to express your love. For more information please contact Jasmine Hardy, her eldest grandchild at email@example.com