BY BENJAMIN J. GOHS, NEWS EDITOR
A beloved mother and grandmother dies, services are held, donations given in her honor … and then they are stolen.
After Phyllis Elaine Hardy died on Sept. 29, at Grandvue Medical Care Facility, her family went through the usual process of coping with the death of a loved one—but they have had the additional burden of grief most families never have to deal with.
“A great number of family and friends paid condolences and gave donations in Phyllis’ memory for the benefit of Grandvue or the Boyne City Schools Boosters,” Phyllis’ daughter-in-law Penny Hardy told the Boyne City Gazette in an Oct. 9 statement. “Unfortunately, someone stole the donation envelopes from our briefly unlocked vehicle while it was parked on River Street at the side of the Boyne City Eagles building as the family cleaned up following the luncheon.”
Penny said a report has been filed with the Boyne City Police Department.
“We have no leads at this time,” said Boyne City Police Chief Jeffrey Gaither. “We would like to hear from anybody who might know anything about this and we’ll follow up on any leads we get.”
Gaither said his department is still trying to obtain any surveillance footage which may have been recorded by local businesses during the time of the theft, adding that there is a process to go through to get ahold of the footage if any exists.
“I feel really bad that somebody’s donations have been taken and we’re working hard to see if we can figure out what’s going on,” he said.
“(Donations) can be recovered if there was a witness who can come forward or if someone knows something about it and we can contact the suspect.”
Penny is appealing to the person or persons responsible to come forward and return the donations.
“We deeply regret that those organizations will not receive the intended donations and that we will be unable to thank those who gave generously,” she stated. “We doubt that we will be able to recover the cash, and believe the checks have probably been destroyed by the person who did this in order for them to avoid being caught.”
She added, “Please accept our apologies. We will be unable to thank you for your intended donations.”
If you have any information regarding this matter, or if someone other than the intended party has cashed a check you may have written to the
Hardy family’s charities of choice, you are urged to contact the Boyne City Police Department at (231) 582-6611.
According to her obituary, Phyllis Hardy grew up on her family’s farm near Walloon Lake and graduated from Boyne City High School. She and her husband Elwood Leroy Hardy, Sr. raised 6 children, all of whom attended Boyne City schools.
Phyllis had 22 grandchildren and 56 great- and great-great grandchildren.