Harold (Dick) Lee Hackney was born January 29, 1935 to the Rev. Henry Paris Hackney and Elma Mae (Lilly) Hackney in the small town of Hinton, WV. He passed away peacefully at home on July 6, 2022 after a brief illness at the age of 87.
After receiving a bachelor’s degree in history from West Virginia University, Dick moved to Northern Virginia (Arlington and later Falls Church) where he taught social studies and later served as a school counselor after receiving a Master’s degree in Psychology from George Washington University. During his time in the D.C. area he also served for six years in the Civic Affairs unit in the Army Reserve. After 10 years in the VA public schools, Dick pursued his doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology at the University of Massachusetts.
After completing his doctorate, Dick accepted a teaching position in the Counseling and Personnel Services Department at Purdue University. It is here that he met his future wife and colleague, Janine Bernard. Dick taught at Purdue for 15 years. This was followed by 16 years at Fairfield University where he served first as Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions and then as a Professor of Counseling. Dick’s final academic position was as Professor and coordinator of the doctoral program in the Counseling Department at Syracuse University until his retirement in 2008.
In addition to his teaching positions, Dick was well known for his texts in counseling. Two of his books (primarily co-authored with Sherry Cormier of WVU) explained the process of counseling and the skills necessary to conduct counseling. Both books enjoyed multiple editions, were adopted widely in counseling programs in the U.S. and Canada, and were translated into several foreign languages. Dick also served the profession of counseling, both regionally and nationally. Among positions he held were President of the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision and Member of the Governing Council of the American Counseling Association (ACA). Dick was named as a Fellow of ACA in their second class of inductees.
In addition to his work life, Dick had a rich personal life. He was known for his quick wit, his resonant voice, and his hearty laugh. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He wore his feelings on his sleeve. His tears were most often his love spilling over. Dick enjoyed cooking, classical music, gardening, and the reading of a good book. After his retirement, Dick especially enjoyed painting in watercolor and acrylic. Unfortunately, this ended when macular degeneration left him legally blind. Even so, he found life an exceptional journey and felt enormously blessed. Dick was a faithful member of Pebble Hill Presbyterian Church. His relationship to that community of faith was very important to him.
As much as Dick enjoyed the delights of teaching throughout his career, and enjoyed seeing the world through travel, eating good food, walking the beach, and laughing with friends, he was most content in quiet moments at home with Janine and his faithful Havanese, Sancho.
Dick is survived by Janine, his beloved wife of 46 years, his three devoted children, Kirsten Werne of Hollis, NH, Jason Hackney of North Syracuse, and Curtis Hackney of Syracuse and his three wonderful grandchildren, Alexander Werne of San Francisco, CA, Zachary Werne of Lexington, KY, and Savannah Werne of Boston, MA. Dick was predeceased by son-in-law Brian Werne.
A memorial service will be held at Pebble Hill Presbyterian Church, DeWitt, NY on July 22nd at 4:00 PM. A reception will follow immediately which the family hopes will serve as a time for shared memories, good fellowship, and good cheer.
In lieu of flowers, anyone who would like to make a donation in Dick’s name may do so to the Pebble Hill Presbyterian Church Memory Garden Fund, 5299 Jamesville Road, DeWitt, NY 13214, or to Aurora of CNY, 1065 James St., Syracuse, NY 13203.