Loris Fire Department Assistant Chief Rodney Hardee died overnight, according to the Loris Volunteer Fire Department Facebook page.
On Sunday, a posting on the Facebook page said Hardee was taken to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center for a "massive brain bleed."
He underwent and made it through surgery, but passed away between Monday night and Tuesday morning.
Next Tuesday would've marked 40 years for Hardee at the department, according to Chief Jerry Hardee, who is no relation.
"We're not officially any kin... But we always told each other somewhere down the line, we were kin," Jerry Hardee said Tuesday.
The two had know n each other almost all their lives growing up in Loris. Chief Jerry Hardee held back tears as he talked with us.
"He was a great guy," Hardee added.
Rodney Hardee started out as a firefighter in 1973. He was assistant chief for more than 20 years, Jerry Hardee said.
Rodney Hardee worked for the city of Loris.
He leaves behind a wife and two sons. One recently returned from a tour in Afghanistan, according to Jerry Hardee.
Funeral Arrangements for Assistant Chief Rodney Hardee:
Visitation: Thursday July 11th 5pm-7pm - Loris Public Safety Complex - 3909 Walnut St. Loris, SC 29569
Funeral: Friday July 12th - 2pm - Loris High School with Graveside Service to follow at Oak Dale Baptist Church
Below is the obituary written in memory of Mr. Hardee:
Mr. Rodney Clifton Hardee, age 66, of Loris, SC passed away on Tuesday, July 9, 2013 after a short illness at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center. He was born in Horry County to Joseph Clifton Hardee and Irene Hardee. He was a graduate of Loris High School and received a BS in Business Management from Coker College. He was the Public Works Director for the City of Loris with forty one years of service. He also served as the Assistant Fire Chief for the City of Loris with forty years of service, which after God and his family, was his greatest passion. He answered his last call just hours before being hospitalized. During his time with the fire department, he received certification as a State Fire Marshal. A veteran of Operation Desert Storm, Mr. Hardee served in the South Carolina Army National Guard, obtaining the rank of First Sergeant with thirty-three years of service to his State and Country.
One of his greatest loves was Oak Dale Baptist Church where he served as a deacon and numerous other positions during his time with the church. He was the founder and director of the food distribution program at Oak Dale, and his lifeâ??s focus was that of caring for others in need and those less fortunate within his community. Even after battling through several health complications throughout his life, he refused to quit and continued his selfless service to the community.
He was a member of numerous associations including The South Carolina State Firemanâ??s Association, South Carolina National Guard Association, South Carolina Water and Pollution Association and Loris Masonic Lodge # 205 A.F.M.
Mr. Hardee is survived by his wife, Donnella Stevens Hardee; two sons and their spouses, Cole and Tanya Hardee, Ashley and Angie Hardee; his mother, Irene Hardee; three sisters and their spouses, Brenda Canada, Charlotte and Lloyd Harrelson, Yvonne and Ray Stanley; and five grandchildren, Holly, Maclaley, Bryson, Colson, and Bella Hardee; numerous nephews and nieces, and he became â??pa-paâ?? to a great number of â??acquiredâ?? grandchildren throughout the local community.
He was preceded in death by his father, Joseph Clifton Hardee.
A scholarship fund is being established in his memory for students that have survived lifeâ??s obstacles. Memorials may be made to The Rodney C. Hardee Memorial Scholarship Fund, 925 Heritage Road, Loris, SC 29569.