Hardin Egerton Obituary (1950 – 2023) – Rugby, TN

Hardin Montgomery Egerton, 73, founder of Earth-Readers surveying firm, died Tuesday, June 27, 2023, at his Rugby, Tennessee, home with his wife, Patty, and daughter, Micki by his side.

Hardin was born May 19, 1950 in Louisville.

The son of George Anne Massey Egerton and William Graham Egerton and the oldest of five children, he grew up in Elizabethtown, where he competed on the Dolphin city swim team and ran cross country and track.

As a teenager, the fiercely independent Hardin created a lawn-cutting business and worked multiple jobs, including a morning and afternoon newspaper route and still had time for legendary escapades with friends.

He graduated Elizabethtown High School in 1968 and earned an industrial technology degree in 1973 at Eastern Kentucky University.

After EKU graduation, he was commissioned second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Following branch school at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Hardin served as a platoon leader and company executive officer with the 101st Airborne Division in Clarksville, Tennessee, and later as a company commander in the National Guard.

In 1976, he moved to Rugby, where he bought property and began building a house he designed. He pulled creek rocks from Clear Fork River for the foundation. He bought a barn in Allardt for $400 and hauled the lumber to his place. Over the years, he built every square foot of his home with help from brothers and friends.

During that time, he apprenticed as a land surveyor under Allen Sexton. He was certified in 1979 as a licensed land surveyor in Tennessee and in Kentucky a year later.

That year in Rugby, Hardin met his future wife, Patty Henson, and her daughters, Chrissy and Micki. It was the beginning of a 42-year love affair.

They married on the first day of spring in 1981 and began their life as a family in his rustic home above White Oak Creek. Now with a woman and two daughters sharing the house, Hardin finally turned his attention to the construction of a full bathroom, which he finished a year later to the happy relief of all.

Working together over the years, Hardin and Patty created a homeplace surrounded by gardens – a place of refuge for birds, dogs and people.

Hardin formed Earth-Readers, a land surveying business, which he and Patty operated until 2017. Known for his ethics and conscientiousness, Hardin developed a broad clientele. He surveyed for many Habitat for Humanity projects, historic Rugby, private clients and the state and federal government, including land reclamation projects.

Hardin was the longtime president of the Upper Cumberland chapter of the Tennessee Association of Professional Surveyors.

He and Patty helped develop and field-test a surveying module that resulted in turning an HP 41 calculator into a digital surveying and mapping instrument that revolutionized civil engineering. With that tool, surveying leaped from the hand-plotting and drawing of maps into the digital world.

After retirement, the two traveled and camped throughout the country. In his life, the only two states Hardin didn’t visit were Alaska and Hawaii. He was an avid reader and devoted library patron. He will be remembered for his protective nature, sensible advice and family loyalty. You could count on Hardin.

His gruff, sometimes cantankerous persona belied a great sense of humor and a truly kind heart. His daughter, Mickie, described her father best, “He was a True North.”

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Christine Marie Cash; his mother, George Anne Massey Egerton; and a brother, Doug Egerton.

Hardin is survived by his wife, Patricia Ann Egerton; a daughter, Michelle Murley; a granddaughter, Annalee Murley of Rugby; his father, Graham Egerton (Anne Redfern) of Cazenovia, New York; a sister, Judith Egerton (Mike Overstreet) of Louisville; two brothers, Rowland Egerton (Ellen Parrish) of Elizabethtown and John Egerton (Bonnie Egerton) of Indianapolis, Indiana; a sister-in-law, Rhonda Egerton of Hideout, Utah; an aunt, Ann Egerton of Nashville; four nieces and nephews, Andrea Ferriell, Casey Overstreet, Cory Egerton and Jessica Egerton; four cousins, Father Isaac McDaniel, John McDaniel and Brooks and March Egerton; and the Higgs siblings, Janet, David, Graham and Mary.

Family and friends are invited to a celebration of Hardin’s life at 4 p.m. EDT July 15 at the residence, 300 White Oak Creek Road in Robbins, Tennessee. All are encouraged to bring their favorite Hardin story to share. A meal will follow the memorial service.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Second Harvest Food Bank, 136 Harvest Lane, Maryville TN 37801 or South Scott County Volunteer Fire Dept., 6478 Scott Highway, Robbins TN 37852.

Published by The News-Enterprise from Jul. 5 to Jul. 15, 2023.

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