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Currents: remembering marty

Marty Reardon, Beloved Counselor and Friend

Martha (Marty) Brock Reardon died peacefully at home after an illness, her son and caregiver at her side, on Jan. 23, 2010, at the age of 68. Born in Corpus Christi, Texas, she was the widow of the late Barry S. Reardon and the mother of Barry B. Reardon of Charlestown, Mass.

Marty was a graduate of Wellesley College, with master's degrees from San Francisco State University and Antioch New England Graduate School. She and her family moved from Boston to New Hampshire, where she resided in New London for 25 years.

Since 1993, Marty worked for the college in various capacities, but mainly in providing counseling services to many students during their time at the college. She was devoted to students' health and well-being and was instrumental in helping them find their way through stress and anxiety, substance abuse, eating disorders, relationship problems, cultural issues and depressive disorders. Through her care, their lives became better.

Marty was also committed to helping students with attention and learning differences to learn new management skills, and she enjoyed working with students in developing their creativity. She kept a figurine of Buddha in her office, and each night as she left work, she would turn it toward the center of campus to watch over and guide the students.

Many community members will remember Marty as “Tyger Mama” from her reggae radio show on WSCS-FM. She was a multi-talented and creative individual who served as an advisor to the Faith Club and an active member of the Cross-Cultural Club. Marty was also one of the founding members of the Spirit-Working group and part of the group that brought the Peace Pole to campus (behind Lethbridge Lodge) after Sept. 11, 2001.

Marty also helped create and facilitate various groups on campus such as Dream Workshops, alcohol and marijuana education classes, and a variety of programs for residential education. She also brought a Young People's Alcoholics Anonymous program to campus for a year before it moved to the First Baptist Church in New London.

In addition to her family, friends, students and colleagues, Marty loved the animals she cared for. Her dog Katie (part wolf) often accompanied her as she traveled around town and beyond. She also loved horses and was, as she said, “owned” by an American Standardbred named Trouble in Tucson, known as Buddy in daily life.

A popular sight in New London, Marty and Buddy could often be spotted around town as they explored roadways and trails. Marty was always eager to connect with fellow horse owners to compare notes and arrange rides, and was proud to have a Colby-Sawyer alumna as Buddy's veterinarian. She treasured the first canters of spring, and would share her joy with friends at the beginning of each riding season. Combining her love of horses and gift for counseling, Marty became involved in equine-assisted therapy and experiential learning.

“Marty had a huge heart and a great love of life,” says her friend and fellow counselor Tom Wilkins. “She is deeply missed by many different circles of people in the community. Her memory will live on through the many individuals she worked with and the many lives she touched.”

Pam Spear, director at Baird Health and Counseling Center, also expressed her belief that Marty will live on through her close connections to Colby-Sawyer students. “Marty was a special person: spirited, vital and caring,” she says. “She was devoted to our students. Marty will be deeply missed but her work with students will live on and those memories of her will be cherished forever.”

President Tom Galligan says, “Marty was a wonderful person and a great part of our community. We are all grateful she brightened our lives and we will all miss her and always remember her.”

On Marty's office door hung the following quote: “Today is where the past has its meaning and the future is shaped.” For many people, Marty helped define meaning and shape their futures.

Marty is survived by her beloved son, Barry, and many relatives and friends.

Chadwick Funeral Service of New London is assisting the family with funeral arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Lake Sunapee Region Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice, PO Box 2209, New London, NH 03257.

Memorial services to honor Marty Reardon will be announced shortly.

-Kimberly Swick Slover, with contributions by Tom Wilkins and Kate Dunlop Seamans