Obituary: Joel David Tardy

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Joel David Tardy

Joel David Tardy

Joel David Tardy, 60, of Franklin, went home to be with the Lord on Thursday, May 14 surrounded by his loving family. 

Mr. Tardy was born in Pasadena, Texas on March 29, 1960, to Dale and Nancy Tardy. Joel developed a passion for art at an early age. He often recalled fond memories of learning how to paint with his grandmother. Joel studied art at Texas Tech University and continued a lifelong journey of creative ventures, including his own sign painting company, caricature drawings and oil portraiture. 

Joel believed you can do anything you are willing to learn how to do. He was a consummate learner and DIYer. On weekends and late nights, he could be found working on a project with his children in the garage or in his studio or adding bedrooms on to his ever-growing home. Whether he was holding a power tool, a paintbrush or a pan full of his famous biscuits, he loved working with his hands. 

To say Joel was a family man would be an understatement. If you spent 60 seconds with him, you would hear about his passion for his family. Although, it would take much more than 60 seconds for him just to tell you the names of all of his children — 12 in total. Joel had a special relationship with each of his children, and he somehow found time to attend every game, recital, round of golf, camping trip, school program, mission trip, swim meet, ski trip and birthday party. He also painted portraits of his children, made special jewelry for his wife, Betsy, handmade mirrors for his daughters, custom art for his children every Valentine’s Day and who knows how many hundreds of pancakes for his grandchildren. 

Joel was the owner and president of Culligan Water Conditioning of Lubbock, Texas — a family business founded by his father, Dale. His employees thought of him as one of the kindest and most generous leaders they have ever known. He believed in running the business with core values, treating people the way he'd want to be treated and taking great pride in truly serving every customer like they were a member of his own family. 

The most important thing in Joel’s life was his faith in Jesus Christ and the abundant life that He offers all of us. Joel believed God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do. He exemplified what it looks like to walk in grace and gratitude. The deep roots of Joel’s faith led him on mission trips around the world. He was also known to pick up neighborhood kids and take them to church and offer help to the homeless and hurting. 

He and his wife, Betsy, had huge hearts for special needs children, as well as at-risk children. They also supported various ministries through the years. 

Joel was preceded in death by his first wife, Angie; his grandson, Jude; and his mother, Nancy.

Joel is survived by his wife, Betsy; his children, Daniel (Emily), Kirk (Andréa), Evan (Kasey), Cameron Morrison (Angel), Kristi Michelson (Austin), Bre, David, Regina, Emily, Joelie, Kasey and Caleb; nine grandchildren; siblings, Larry, Todd and Debbie; and his father, Dale. 

In lieu of a traditional visitation, the Tardy family will host an art exhibit at their home in Franklin to showcase Joel’s portraits and many years of creativity. This will be a beautiful celebration of Joel’s life from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, May 21. Adults only in semi-casual dress, come and go, and heavy hors d’oeurvres will be served. Kindly RSVP for details at

Following a private family burial, a public service will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, May 22, at Financial Peace Plaza Conference Center, 7104 Crossroads Blvd., Suite 103, Brentwood, Tenn. 37027. Additionally, this service will be simulcast at Church Without Religion, 6007 66th St., Lubbock, Texas 79424.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in honor of Joel to Faithful Heart Ministry to help children at risk of human trafficking:

Joel’s family wishes to extend our sincere thanks to all of the amazing medical staff who served him on this journey. Your compassion and care have been a wonderful gift to us all.