Former Mayor Phil Hardberger thanks outgoing City Manager Sheryl Sculley for her service.
Former Mayor Phil Hardberger suffered a minor heart attack on Sunday. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

Former San Antonio Mayor Phil Hardberger is at home recovering after being hospitalized earlier this week for a mild heart attack, family members said.

Hardberger’s wife, Linda, and daughter, Amy, told the San Antonio Report that the attorney who served as a popular mayor from 2005 to 2009 spent Monday night in the hospital before returning home Tuesday.

“It was not big; it did not damage the heart very much,” Linda Hardberger said. “They put a stent in, a big long one apparently, and he’s feeling a lot better.”

Linda Hardberger, director and curator of the Tobin Theater Arts Fund, said she and her 86-year-old husband were moving heavy boxes to clean a drain in front of their garage at their Monte Vista home on Sunday.

“He did have a big pain in his chest, but he thought it was over-exertion,” she said, adding that her husband had one previous bypass procedure and a stent installed “quite a number of years” ago.

On Monday, Phil Hardberger visited a cardiologist before seeking emergency care at Methodist Hospital, said daughter Amy Hardberger, a San Antonio Water System trustee and director of the Texas Tech Center for Water Law and Policy.

In a phone call late Tuesday, Amy Hardberger described the event as “pretty good, as heart attacks go.” Her father stays in shape, though he no longer goes on long-distance sailing trips around the world, as in past decades, she said.

“He’s so active, it’s crazy,” Amy Hardberger said. “They walk the dog every day, all that kind of stuff. So I think it’ll take a little while to get the energy back, but that’s OK.”

Early media reports Tuesday of Hardberger’s hospitalization led to an outpouring of calls and messages from across San Antonio, the Hardbergers said.

“It’s awfully nice that the community has been so sweet, letting him know how they feel about him,” Linda Hardberger said. “That definitely helps the healing process.”

The former mayor maintains an active role in community affairs, including spearheading the creation of a 150-foot land bridge joining the two halves of Phil Hardberger Park in northwest San Antonio.

On Tuesday, Mayor Ron Nirenberg described Hardberger as a “dear friend and consummate public servant.” The former mayor has served as a key political mentor for Nirenberg, who was first elected in 2017.

“Even slightly past his prime, he’s still as strong as an ox,” Nirenberg said.

Brendan Gibbons

Brendan Gibbons

Brendan Gibbons is the San Antonio Report's environment and energy reporter.