Virginia A. Lee Tardy

Former Durango resident Virginia A. Lee Tardy died from injuries suffered in a car accident Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012, in Omaha, Neb. She was 57.

Mrs. Tardy, the second of five daughters born to Ward and Rita Lee, was born March 5, 1955, in Greeley. She grew up in Durango, graduating from Durango High School in 1973.

After graduation, she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Fort Lewis College in 1977. As part of her degree, Mrs. Tardy studied for a semester in Osaka, Japan, and worked as an intern with the Colorado state Senate.

On Feb. 19, 1978, she married James G. Tardy at St. Columba Catholic Church in Durango. The couple lived for short periods in Durango, Parker and Boston before settling in Omaha about 25 years ago.

Mrs. Tardy was a real estate agent in Omaha for many years, many of those with Prudential Ambassador. Clients remembered her for helping them buy first homes, her family said.

As a teenager at St. Columba Catholic Church, Mrs. Tardy “became very engrossed in her faith,” her mother said. After her husband was ordained as a deacon, the Tardys led St. Cecilia Cathedral’s Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults program for many years. Her family said the Tardys touched hundreds of lives with their work.

Mrs. Hardy’s other main love was baseball. She was born the same year her father played in the College World Series, and she and her husband held season tickets to the annual series, which is held in Omaha.

She also enjoyed decorating her home, working in her yard, being outdoors and cooking. Like her mother, Mrs. Tardy decorated her house for every holiday, but particularly Christmas and Thanksgiving.

She was an organ donor.

Mrs. Tardy is survived by her husband of 34 years, James G. Hardy of Omaha; children Eleanore Tardy Schrader and James Tardy, both of Omaha; parents, Rita and Ward Lee, of Durango; sisters Wardine Lee of Durango, Cindy Compton of Grand Junction, Lisa Pearce of Sedona, Ariz., and Karen Fishbach, of Sacramento, Ariz.; three grandchildren; and numerous extended family members.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Monday, Oct. 1, 2012, at St. Cecilia’s. Burial took place at Resurrection Cemetery in Omaha.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to the Adopt-a-Student Fund, St. Columba Catholic School, 1801 East Third Ave., Durango, CO 81301; Youth Baseball of Southwestern Colorado, P.O. Box 4046, Durango, CO 81302-4046; or the Virginia Lee Tardy Memorial Account, c/o First National Bank of Durango, P.O. Box 2910, Durango, CO 81302. The account will be used to create a memorial garden at the family property called The Claims in La Plata Canyon.