In Loving Memory of Rodney Hardison

February 23, 2024

Rodney Hardison: A Multi-Talented Soul

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Rodney Hardison, an esteemed member of RUPCO’s Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI) tenant community in Newburgh, who departed this world on Friday, February 16th, 2024. Rodney, born on August 7th, 1943, was a Purple Heart veteran with a rich and diverse life that touched the hearts of those who had the privilege of knowing him.

Rodney’s journey was marked by extraordinary achievements in various realms. A gifted jazz musician, he once graced the stage alongside the legendary Miles Davis, leaving an indelible mark on the world of music. As a frequent act at The WhereHouse food and beverage bar in the City of Newburgh, Rodney became a local neighborhood celebrity, enchanting audiences with his musical prowess.

In addition to his musical talents, Rodney had a brief yet notable career as a Hollywood actor. He starred in the iconic 1970s show “Starsky and Hutch,” portraying the memorable character of Huggy Bear’s cousin, a role that showcased his versatility and charisma.

Rodney’s passions extended beyond the spotlight; he held a deep fascination with the history of cowboys and Native Americans. His extensive collection of books and photography on these subjects reflected his dedication to preserving and sharing the cultural heritage he held dear.

In his later years, Rodney found solace and joy in painting and sketching, generously sharing his art with friends and the community. His creative spirit and artistic contributions added a vibrant touch to the lives of those around him.

Despite battling a respiratory illness, Rodney’s valiant spirit prevailed until his last breath. RUPCO is proud to having provided supportive and affordable housing to Rodney, allowing him to enjoy his later years in comfort and peace.

Rodney Hardison’s legacy is one of resilience, talent, and generosity. May his good deeds echo in the hereafter, and may his memory continue to inspire all those who had the privilege of crossing paths with this remarkable soul.