On November 12th, the entire Bellarmine community was shocked to find that the beloved and longest-tenured teacher Hardy Reyerson had passed away. Whenever you talk to a friend or former student of Mr. Reyerson, they immediately mention his friendly and happy attitude. He could be seen strolling through the hallways, often stopping to converse with students and hand out fist bumps. For those that didn’t get the chance to know Mr. Reyerson or have one of his classes, he taught for an astounding 53 years at Bellarmine College Preparatory. Towards the latter years of his career, he began to split time between Bellarmine and Cristo Rey, another Jesuit High School in San Jose. Mr. Reyerson primarily taught Calculus and in his earlier years statistics. Mr. Reyerson also coached both the Bellarmine varsity basketball and football teams back in the late ’80s and ‘90s. Even after his coaching days ended, Mr. Reyerson still attended many of the Bellarmine football and basketball games. Mike Ponce, Bellarmine graduate of 1990, talked about seeing him at several games, “His quiet and calm personality was evident in many of the football and basketball games he attended the past several years. We would chat during halftime and share a bag of popcorn. The time I spent with Mr. Reyerson is something I will always cherish.”
In addition to being an avid supporter of Bellarmine Athletics, Mr. Reyerson was also a spectacular athlete, he would ride through France every summer on his bicycle! He participated in many other sports as well. Alumnus and current math teacher Mr. Williams commented on Mr. Reyerson’s athletic activity over the years, “I can think of times when we would go to the Y, when we played racketball he would kick my butt. He’s 30 years older than I am and he would just destroy me. He was a college athlete in basketball and football. He was also an avid cyclist and weightlifter. You name it, he did it,” The only thing that rivaled Mr. Reyerson’s fondness for sports was his love of teaching and his students,
Mr. Reyerson was an innovative teacher, often creating new ways to teach his lessons to students. Mr. Reyerson would even record his lessons and post them on his youtube channel here. Mr. Reyerson’s love for teaching dispelled any want or desire to retire, often saying that he wanted to continue teaching until he died. When asked about Mr. Reyerson’s passion for teaching, Mr. Williams said, “a lot of people always asked him about retiring and his response was, why would I retire, I love what I am doing, I love being at Bellarmine, I love the students, I have fun, I enjoy it. What would be the purpose of retiring? Why would I give up something that I love so much.” The day after his passing many of the Bellarmine faculty members could be seen wearing a pin that read “Much Joy!” a phrase Mr. Reyerson used to sign all of his emails. Mr. Reyerson often exuberated this expression in his everyday life, Mike Ponce ‘90 commented, “That smile on Mr. Reyerson’s face only got bigger as you approached him, shook his hand and gave him a hug.” Even though Mr. Reyerson is no longer with us, we should all continue to carry on his spirit by spreading kindness and joy to one another.
Bellarmine will be holding a memorial service for Mr. Reyerson on Friday, December the 6th.