Linda Garber Hardy

Linda Garber Hardy of Sylva NC shuffled off her mortal coil on April 16th, 2013, much to the dismay of her relatives and friends. She will be sorely missed by her daughter, Tracy, and son-in-law, Scott, her sister, Leslie, her brothers, Charles, Scott, and Paul & wife, Desiree, as well as a multitude of friends whose lives impinged on hers. Hers was “a heart too soon made glad,” and her gladness touched all who knew her.

Born to Elizabeth Haussermann Garber & Cleland Wayne Garber, Linda grew up in New Jersey and Winston-Salem, NC. She moved to Cullowhee and after receiving her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Western Carolina University, she worked as an Educator and Administrator in the University of Maryland’s overseas programs in Korea, Philippines, Japan, Iceland, and Washington, DC. She later taught for American University in both Saudi Arabia & Dubai. She loved every minute of it, except for a few sub-zero moments in Iceland and the gender restrictions in Saudi. She soaked in the culture of every Country such as her climb of Mount Fuji and had a pilgrim’s staff to show for it. After her many years abroad, “The Mountains Called” and she answered by returning to her beloved Jackson County for her retirement years.

Linda was a community organizer and caring citizen. While attending Western, she worked to establish the REACH shelter for abused women in Jackson County. She also worked with AIDS children in a Washington, DC shelter. And she happily “nattered around” the Sylva Community Garden and Farmers’ Market, Community Table, and ARF events.

Linda loved to entertain. She enjoyed hosting her friends at parties, which were always elaborately planned and flawlessly executed. She enjoyed going to parties, always late, because she yielded to the Martha Stewart syndrome, always preparing a spectacular treat to carry along.

Linda was enamored with travel. She took a “fear of flying class” so that she could fly away to foreign parts, extending her travels while teaching in exotic places. She visited over 50 Countries and encouraged her family and friends to expand their world. She took her Mother to Hong Kong, her daughter to countless places and her best friend to Scotland. She had a thirst for knowledge, known to take a full week to devour the Sunday New York Times and other fine magazines. And she drove a succession of enviable autos: the Star Cruiser, a blue Ford that she would shift into hyper drive when running late; JR, a battered Datsun, otherwise known as “Japan’s Revenge”; a SAAB—pronounced S.L.O.B.– her car of dignity, that seldom started; and Bear’s car, a Ford SUV purchased to transport her elderly canine companion, Bear.

Linda loved animals, especially dogs. She was regularly at Sylva’s “Bark in the Park” episodes. She was often looked to “dog-sit” for many of her friends and neighbors. She furnished loving hospice care to two of Tracy & Scott’s pets and was on the verge of accepting a third hospice dog when she was summoned to a different hospice session, this one for her.

A mistress of the bon mot, Linda never needed to reflect upon her ripostes to refine them. She always got them right the first try, like the time she smirked at a flasher and told him, “Too bad.”

Most of all, Linda loved people. Known by many titles, Sis, Aunt, Cousin, NanaLin, MomHardy, BBF, Ranger she was open-minded, listened well, even to Republicans, and treasured her family and her devoted friendships. Her parting message to us all is: “I’ve lived a life without regrets and have loved so many”. And true to her well-hidden secret, “I’ll never be as old as you are.”

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, April 20th, 2013 at 6:00 pm with receiving of family and Friends at The Community Table of Jackson County, 28 Central Street in Sylva NC. At 7:00 pm, a Celebration of a Lifetime of Laughter where all can share stories, memories, raise a glass and toast the essence of what Linda was to so many during her life.

In lieu of flowers, Linda requested donations to any of the above-listed charities, the Leukemia Society or the charity of your choice.

Please, direct notes of concern to Tracy, Scott and the family to: Tracy & Scott Krein, PO Box 672, Walhalla, S.C. 29691.

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