Constance Coyne Hardesty, 70, directed schools' food services

September 16, 1996|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

Constance Coyne Hardesty, a retired dietitian who headed the Baltimore City schools' food services department for 10 years, died Friday of cancer at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She was 70 and lived for almost 40 years on Rockleigh Drive in Arbutus.

Born in Bangor, Maine, she was a 1947 graduate of the University of Maine, earning a bachelor of science degree in nutrition.

She served an internship at the Staten Island (N.Y.) Public Health Hospital, then at Johns Hopkins Hospital from 1947 to 1948. She was a therapeutic dietitian at the former Women's Hospital in Baltimore from 1949 until 1960.

In 1961, she joined the city school system as a food service dietitian at various high schools. She was named director of the Food Service Department in 1978 and retired in 1986.

Mrs. Hardesty initiated reforms after the city auditor criticized cash-handling procedures at the schools, especially a situation in which the poorest children stood out from the others because they were the only ones issued lunch tickets.

She appointed teams of inspectors in 1978, after state health inspectors criticized the school cafeterias -- along with city restaurants, bars, markets and food-processing plants.

"The word has been given to every school on what's expected," Mrs. Hardesty said in announcing "a general housecleaning."

After she retired, she was a volunteer teaching assistant at Mt. Providence Child Development Center, working three days a week at the day-care facility until June and a volunteer at Arbutus Elementary School from 1988 until June.

She was a reliable blood donor for the American Red Cross and a member of the Maryland Dietetic Association.

As a member of Roman Catholic Church of the Ascension in Halethorpe, Mrs. Hardesty served on the parish council and as a Eucharistic minister, Bible school teacher, member of the Social Concerns Committee and team member of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, assisting those converting to the Catholic faith.

She enjoyed her grandchildren, baking, and doing jigsaw and crossword puzzles.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10: 30 a.m. tomorrow at the Church of the Ascension, 4603 Poplar Ave. in Halethorpe.

Mrs. Hardesty is survived by her husband of 47 years, John F. Hardesty; a son, Michael J. Hardesty of Gamber; a daughter, Carol H. Jacober of Arbutus; three brothers, James. V. Coyne of Okeechobee, Fla., Robert J. Coyne of Nashua, N.H., and Roland J. Coyne of Atlantic City, N.J.; six grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Pub Date: 9/16/96

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