Joe David Hardemon, Sr. who was affectionately known as Big Poppa. Joe was born April 14th 1941 in Cordele, Georgia to the late Charles Hardemon and Addie West. He was the 2nd of 8 siblings. Who was Big Poppa? He was a brother, a Father, a Grandfather and certainly a believer of God.
Big Poppa was educated in the Crisp County Public Schools. Through the tutoring of his dad, Joe developed a skill for Auto mechanics. In 1958 he moved to Baltimore, MD. and began detailing and working on automobiles for a living.
In 1959 he met the Girl of his dreams Othelia Jones, known as Tinee Baby. Tina’s parents were tough. No nonsense kind of parents. They thought no one was good enough for their daughter. But Joe David was persistent and determined he was going to have that girl. Joe and Tina began dating. Joe David was smooth with his charisma and Tinee Baby Fell in love. On September 3rd 1961 they joined together in Holy Matrimony and his beautiful family was formed.
Big Poppa was certainly a hard worker and devoted father. Joe went to further his education and passion to work on Automobiles. He attended and graduated from ITT Tech Institute in Boston, MA. As the family grew Joe David sought out his dream to become an entrepreneur in automotive. Joe succeeded by opening up his business repair shop “Joe and Hills Auto Repairs”. Joe David would often work 6 days a week. From Sun up to sun down. Then he would go fishing to unwind.
Joe never took vacations. He often drove to Baltimore frequently to visit his Mother and right-hand man, his older brother Charlie, known as Charlie Brown. In 1991 during the passing of his mother, Joe David cared for his brother Charlie Brown. He took him under his wing and became inseparable.
Big Poppa loved animals, dogs, cats and even rabbits. All whom would in the same house at the same time! We all knew Joe David loved to fish. Pops had a saying, “Give a man a fish you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime”. Pops fed everyone in his path. When Pops retired from Midas muffler shops in in 2002, he returned to Baltimore. During retirement Joe continued to work on, and detail cars and yes feed the neighborhood by hosting cookouts 2-3 times a week. Folks would see that grill smokin and knew they had something to eat. Big Poppa believed if you had it to give, you were already blessed. He would loan money or give you something and wouldn’t care if you repaid him or not. He also was that loving and caring Grandfather with over a dozen Grandchildren. Big Poppa thought giving the grandkids a swig of his beer would help them grow. He fathered 5 children. 4 girls and 1 boy, Joe Jr.
God knows he is a caring provider and protector. In 2015 Big Poppa was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Pops would not let this slow him down. He continued to wash cars and grill 2-3 times a week. On April 21st our Lord and Savior peacefully closed Pops eyes. Big Poppa leaves behind awife of almost 60 years the Beautiful Othelia Tina Hardemon . Cherished father of Linda Hardemon of Boston, MA, Joe Hardemon Jr. of Baltimore, MD, Jacqueline Hardemon of Boston, MA, Wanda Hardemon of Boston, MA and Heidi Hardemon of Boston, MA. Also leaves to mourn his siblings Charles Hardemon of Cordele, Georgia, Eugene Anderson of Newark, NJ, Earlene Hardemon Heppard of Atlanta, Georgia, William Hardemon of Cordele, Georgia and Elaine Hardemon Hunter of Macon, Georgia and one daughter in law, Sister in law Helen Ballard of Baltimore, MD and Elroy Jones of Baltimore, MD and brother in law of Bobby Lewis of Maine. Big Poppa grandfathered 15 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren. And a host of Aunts, Uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. R.I.P. Big Poppa.
Joe David Hardemon Sr. will truly be missed. God bless his Soul.