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Posted: Apr 06, 2019 10:34 AMUpdated: Apr 06, 2019 10:52 AM

Dr. Joe Hardin Turns 100 on Sunday

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Garrett Giles

A longtime Bartlesville resident and former orthodontist will turn 100-years-old on Sunday. Dr. Joe Hardin was born in McAlister, Oklahoma in 1919.

Dr. Hardin lost his father at the age of 11 and grew up poor. He said he became a paper boy to help his family during the Great Depression. Hardin would deliver The Daily Oklahoman every morning until he got a new route in the afternoon to deliver the McAlister Capital News.

He said he also worked at a grocery store from 6:00 in the morning to 10:00 at night. He earned 2-dollars for the day’s work.

When college came, Dr. Hardin had to hitchhike from McAlister to Stillwater so he could attend courses at Oklahoma A&M, which is now known as Oklahoma State University. After his college days, Hardin spent time in the military.

In the early stages of his military career, Hardin went from being a private to a 1st Liuetenant in 6 months. He wanted to join the the Air Force branch, but said he was too short and colorblind to become a pilot.

Dr. Hardin worked his way through the colorblindness and he used cushions during pilot training to assist him. Soon enough, Hardin was flying for the U.S. Air Force. Three weeks after D-Day, Hardin was over Omaha Beach and later found himself in liberated Paris, France.

Through the G.I. Bill Dr. Hardin was able to go into dental school. He practiced dentistry for several years before getting a Master’s in orthodontics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Eventually Dr. Hardin landed in Bartlesville, Oklahoma where he worked as an orthodontist until he retired in 1987. He said orthodontics has changed drastically over the decades.

Dr. Hardin was a diplomat for the American Board of Orthodontists. He said he was the third man in Oklahoma to take and pass the tests to be on the Board. During general dentistry, Dr. Hardin wrote an article on the Smile Contest that was put on in Oklahoma years ago. He said he won the Benjamin Franklin Scroll award for the article.

A thesis he wrote was published by the American Association of Orthodontists as well. The thesis gave him plenty of publicity as he had people from all over the globe asking for a copy.

He enjoyed playing golf and loves to tell stories about his golf days at Hillcrest Country Club. He stopped playing golf when he turned 88. That has not kept him from staying physically active, which is his secret to long life. He said he has always lived for the future.

Dr. Hardin celebrates with loved ones throughout the weekend. He currently resides in Green Country Village in Bartlesville. Visits are welcome and he will give you a pamphlet on his secrets to long life.

Hardin is married to Betty who will turn 97 in May. They have a daughter named Susie.


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