Zola “Zo” Myra Clarkson Hardwick
Zola was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 22, 1950. She was the daughter of Zola and J. Brainerd Clarkson. She graduated from Washburn High School in Minneapolis and went on to obtain her undergraduate degree in English at the University of Missouri - Columbia and Kansas City. While at the University of Missouri, she met the love of her life, Richard Eugene Hardwick and they were married in Kansas City on July 26, 1970. In a change of fate, Gene received a job offer in Minnesota and so the two moved back towards Zola’s hometown. Once back, she began attending Hamline University and received her Master of Arts in Liberal Studies, specializing in creative writing and nonfiction. Throughout her career, she worked as a travel agent, a teacher, and a writer. Outside of work, she was involved in the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), the St. Paul Opera, the Minnesota Transportation Museum in the Steam Train Division, the League of Women Voters of St. Paul, and the St. Paul Audubon Society. Even with all of that, she still managed to find time for her hobbies which included photography, card making, YMCA of White Bear Lake, and the Silver Sneakers. Zola was a very friendly woman who could make friends very easily. She had a great laugh and loved to be social. In fact, she lived her life with the motto, “Carpe Diem” in mind. This meant “Seize the day” and she seized every day of her life to its fullest. Zola will be missed by all who crossed paths with her in Minneapolis, Columbia and Kansas City, MO, St. Paul, and White Bear Lake.