Duane Hardy Presenté

Photo: Paul Pearce

On April 22, Duane R. Hardy, lifelong peace and civil-rights activist and longtime SPC activist passed away at the age of 95. Duane kept SPC's books for 13 years and contributed to SPC's work in immeasurable other ways-cutting and distributing Peace Newsletters, shoveling snow, handling the mail, sharing news and stories and much more. His steady presence was particularly important during a difficult period for SPC in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He spent his final few years, as age limited his mobility, in the Philadelphia area close to family.

Duane was involved with the Socialist Party in the 1930s, supported conscientious objectors during World War II and was later active in the movements for civil rights and nuclear disarmament, and against the Vietnam War. A quiet man, Duane brought the wisdom of those many years of radical work to SPC.

As Duane wrote in the July-August 2002 PNL, "When I came to Syracuse in 1989, I remembered my connections with the Peace Council dating back to the 1940s. It was my first choice of a place for continuing to work for peace and social justice."

In a special mock August 16, 1997 PNL devoted to the birthdays of Duane and his wife Nell, Paul Pearce wrote: "Duane comes into the Peace Council house wearing many hats, carrying many loads, and always has an interesting story to tell…. A conversation with Duane is like going for an exciting ride on a winding country road. There are a lot of twists and turns, ups and downs and you usually end up at a great destination." (See www.peacecouncil.net/duanehardy for additional tributes to Duane.)

While Duane has passed on, his behind the scenes contributions and inspiration to others will live on for many years to come.

-Andy Mager