Allen Russell "Pete" Ardis

Obituary of Allen Russell "Pete" Ardis

Allen Russell “Pete” Ardis was born August 29, 1940, in Charleston, SC, to John Raymond and Susan Geddings Ardis.

Allen, Pete, or just plain Ardis, whatever you called him, was a son, a brother and a father — not just of blood relatives but for just about every person he ever met as well as a friend and mentor to many. 

Some may remember him from his days at the US Postal Service. He worked there for 36 years — first as a sorter at the main post office on Gervais Street (now the SC Supreme Court Building) and when they relocated to Assembly Street he became a loading dock supervisor, working his way up to building inspector and real estate procurement officer before becoming the postmaster in Union, SC, a position that he retired from in 1997. 

Retirement didn’t take and Ardis soon found himself wandering the backroads of Richland County as a building and unsafe housing inspector. It was during his 25 years with the county that he acquired his signature look — white dress shirt, jeans, brown work boots, suspenders and that brown leather hat. That unofficial uniform, along with his trimmed white beard, made him recognizable from yards away. 

He was a fair man and gave many a contractor/builder that look that said “fix the problem, do it right” without having to say a word, unless they proceeded to do it wrong then he instructed then on how to fix it correctly.

Over the years, Pete was known for an occasional practical joke (or two) — usually played on unsuspecting coworkers and close friends.

And then there’s Chester. For a man who said he never wanted a dog, that overweight beagle went everywhere with Ardis and was spoiled to the point of being rotten.

The two wandered the aisles at Lowe’s, Home Depot, Harbor Freight and his new favorite, Tractor Supply.

And the stories he would tell! From racing school buses during his high school days to convincing postal inspectors from up north that grits trees had to be replanted on the grounds of the post offices along the coast after Hugo, and to Chester playing Jeopardy! when they hung out in the evenings at The Other Store in Forest Acres — all told with a straight face and a hint of mischief, Ardis left many just shaking their head after the tellings.

The holidays usually started for him in mid-October, when you’d find him doing the one thing he really enjoyed and a lot of people know him for — baking pecan pies. If you made his pie list or were around when he had an extra in the truck, you were guaranteed one of the best pecan pies you’ve ever tasted. He spent years perfecting the recipe which he kept guarded and bought hundreds of pounds of pecans every season. His two daughters — Susan and Shari — started and keep the tradition with their friends.

Ardis will be missed.

Pete was predeceased by his parents, sister Carolyn Savonne Ardis-Seegars, and leaves cherished memories to his daughters, Susan Marie Ardis and Shari Lynn Ardis-Hustus, son-in-law John Hustus, Jr., brother Cecil Raymond (Susanna) Ardis, nephews William (Melissa) Ardis, Christopher (Rebeka) Ardis, niece Anna (Danny McSweeny, and many many adopted family members including Mel Macapugas and Peggy Jensen.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to South Carolina Beagle Rescue (beagle.rescueme.org), Pets Inc. (petsinc.org) or Sal’s Ol’ Timey Feed & Seed greenhouse fund (salslocalseed.com).

Services will be held on Friday, July 16, 2021 at Thompson Funeral Home at Greenlawn Memorial Park on Leesburg Road with visitation from 1-3 p.m. and funeral service at 3 p.m. with graveside services immediately after.    

Family and friends are asked to remember Mr. Ardis by “dressing like Pete” on Friday — long sleeve white dress shirt, blue jeans and brown shoes — whether or not you’re able to attend services.

PALLBEARERS:
Susan Ardis

Shari Ardis-Hustus

John Hustus, Jr.

Mel Macapugas

Peggy Jensen

James Grice

Albert Mack

 

SONGS

Circle be Unbroken - Johnny Cash

Old Rugged Cross - Johnny Cash

Peace in the Valley - Loretta Lynn

Uncloudy Day - Willie Nelson

When We All Get to Heaven - Willie Nelson

Just a Closer Walk with Thee - Tennessee Ernie Ford

Amazing Grace - Ralph Stanley

Life’s Railway to Heaven - Merle Haggard

In the Garden - Jim Reeves

It is No Secret What God Can Do - Jim Reeves

Where We’ll Never Grow Old - Jim Reeves

I’ll Fly Away - Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch

By The Mark - Gillian Welch

Rock of Ages - Johnny Cash

I Saw the Light - Hank Williams, Sr.

Keep on The Sunny Side - The Carter Family

(Rock My Soul) Bosom of Abraham - Elvis 

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Friday
16
July

Visitation

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Friday, July 16, 2021
Thompson Funeral Home at Greenlawn Memorial Park
845 Leesburg Road
Columbia, South Carolina, United States
803-776-1092
Friday
16
July

Funeral Service

3:00 pm
Friday, July 16, 2021
Thompson Funeral Home Chapel at Greenlawn Memorial Park
845 Leesburg Road
Columbia, South Carolina, United States
803-776-1092
Friday
16
July

Graveside Interment

4:00 pm
Friday, July 16, 2021
Greenlawn Memorial Park
845 Leesburg Road
Columbia, South Carolina, United States
803-776-1092
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Allen Russell "Pete"