By Vicki Miceli
Ora Marie Houtz was born in Provo, Utah, on May 10, 1916, to Ira Houtz and Mary Ellen Walton. She was the second eldest of eight siblings and grew up on a farm during the Great Depression. She graduated from Brigham Young High School in 1934. Ora married the love of her life, Don Hardy, in 1935, and with jobs being scarce, they moved to Los Angeles, Calif., when a relative offered Don employment.
Ora found a job working in Hollywood at the Owl Drug Store. When World War II and the draft started, she began working for the Selective Service where she registered and processed hundreds of young men for military duty. When the war ended in 1945, she transitioned into a job as a union negotiator for FMC Corporation, holding that position for 30 years. Although Ora and Don didn’t have children, Ora helped to raise her younger siblings, offering help in times of need and illness.
Don died in 1967. Ora retired in 1975 and returned home to Utah to live in Springville, where she still resides today in the same home. She began a new chapter in her life, traveling the world with various organizations. And boy did she travel, spending her 50s into her 90s exploring the world, including trips to Hawaii, England, Scotland, France, Italy, Israel, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Macau, Singapore, Taiwan, Greece, Turkey, Mexico, the Panama Canal and Egypt, where she rode a camel to the pyramids in Giza.
Ora Marie Hardy is a beloved pillar of her community. She is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and she attends church every Sunday. She has been blessed with good health and is “Aunt Ora” to dozens of nieces and nephews. She is a generous donor to the Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City and to the VFW. A gathering will take place in Springville at the Hobble Creek Stake Pavilion, 495 S. Canyon Rd., on May 14 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friends and family are invited to this open house celebration to mark her milestone 100th birthday.