2016 Marilyn Hardwick

These verses, from the book of Galatians, remind me of this year's choir honoree, Marilyn Hardwick. She has touched the lives of many in the choir,Sunday School and congregation of Aldine Methodist, bringing her characteristic warmth, enthusiasm and bright smile.

As a child, Marilyn lived in Friesburg, with her mother, father, three sisters and four brothers. She attended Aldine Methodist and has happy memories of singing at Sunday School opening exercises, led by Oscar Simkins. She was always fascinated by the way pianist, Mrs. Sommerall's fingers flew up and down the keys as she played the piano. Marilyn's first choir experience was as a member of the Melody Choir, a junior choir here at Aldine. Oscar Simkin's sister, Linda Dodge Wright was the director. She would go on to join the senior choir in high school, under the direction of Clementine Elwell. It was Clemmie's husband David, Marilyn's high school Sunday School teacher who helped to lead Marilyn to Christ at age 17.

After graduating from high school, Marilyn got her teaching degree from Trenton State, now The College of New Jersey. While at college, she sang in the choir at her sister's church. In 1978, Marilyn was hired by Upper Deerfield schools where she taught Special Education and fourth grade It was at Seabrook School that I first had the pleasure to meet Marilyn. Her classroom was right across from my music room. One morning before school, I heard a Sandy Patti song coming from her classroom and from then on, we were destined to be friends! By the way, Our son, Lukas really loved his fourth grade teacher. What a great year with Miss Hardwick as a teacher!

Marilyn returned to Aldine Methodist around 1984 after attending Deerfield Presbyterian for a couple years with a friend. She sang in the choir under the direction of Kay Fogg with Carol Williams as accompanist. Other directors that Marilyn sang under were Tish Sarracino, Daryl Halter and Carol Crispin. Marilyn told me that she loves to sing in the choir because she enjoys singing and draws strength from each anthem's texts. She enjoys being a part of such a large and loving family.

In 2005, Marilyn received her Master's Degree in Learning disabilities from Rowan University. She become a LDTC or Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant for Millville Public Schools, a position she currently holds today.

Marilyn's leadership qualities have helped us in countless ways here at Aldine Methodist. According to one choir member, “She is reliable in planning and seeing a task through. She understands that God is in control and she makes sure that He gets the glory”. Another commented that she takes her job of Sunday School Superintendent very seriously. Marilyn also serves as the chair person of the Council on Ministries and is a devoted and joyful Worship Leader, Through the years, she has used her organizational skills to organize numerous retreats. In addition, because of her love of photography, Marilyn has become a “Keeper of Aldine Methodist Church History. We count on her because of knowledge of our rich heritage.