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Betty St. Clair Hardy, 92, Author of WAVES Anthem

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – Betty St. Clair "Tommy" Hardy, 92, the author of the "Waves of the Navy" anthem, died March 30 at her home in Concord, Mass.

Women who served in the Navy in World War II were known as WAVES, or Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Services.

A former resident of New Canaan, Hardy worked as a homemaker and a community volunteer. After moving to New Canaan in 1962, she became active in the PTA at East School, writing the newsletter there and at Saxe Junior High School. 

While president of the New Canaan Public Library, Hardy led the fundraising and construction of the Lapham Wing in 1979. She was also active in the League of Women Voters.

Every Wednesday for 20 years, she volunteered to drive senior citizens to events. Hardy was also a member of the Presbyterian Church and the New Canaan Nature Center. She was a justice of the peace, marrying many couples, and a frequent contributor to community publications. 

She was born in Washington, D.C., on July 24, 1919. Her father, Labert St. Clair, was a Washington newspaper reporter. After graduating from the University of Maryland, Hardy took a job at Macy's in New York City. Shortly after Pearl Harbor, she heard the Navy was quietly accepting women for service.  

In the fall of 1942, she enlisted in the WAVES and underwent officer training at Smith College in Northampton, Mass. She penned "Waves of the Navy" for a musical showcase after graduation. Designed to harmonize with "Anchors Aweigh," it soon became the official anthem of the WAVES. 

Hardy spent World War II in New York in naval communications. After the war, she married Jerome Hardy, and they started a family. He was the founding publisher of Time-Life Books, publisher of LIFE magazine from 1962 to 1970 and president of the Dreyfus Corp.  

In 1996, she moved to Lexington, Mass., to help raise grandchildren. She was a member of Follen Community Church in Lexington, a close follower of the Boston Ballet and a devoted donor to numerous charities. 

Hardy is survived by a sister, Jean West; five children, Martha Baskett of Columbus, Ohio, James Hardy, of Montgomery Village, Md., Douglas Hardy, of Concord, Mass., Gordon Hardy, of Lexington, Mass., and Quentin Hardy of Berkeley, Calif.; and nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. 

A memorial service will be held May 5 at 2 p.m., at Follen Church in Lexington. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Renewal House, 10 Putnam St., John Eliot Square, Roxbury, MA 02119.

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