Cover photo for Carolyn Hardin Engelhardt's Obituary
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Carolyn Hardin Engelhardt

May 10, 1944 — June 18, 2023


Carolyn Hardin Engelhardt

Carolyn Hardin Engelhardt, age 79, of Bloomfield, CT passed away on Sunday, June 18, 2023.  She was married for over 53 years to the late Reverend George Christian Engelhardt.  Carolyn was born on May 10, 1944 in Memphis, TN, daughter of the late Melvin Loyd Hardin and Helen Harriet Hardin (Morrison). Carolyn grew up in Arkansas and remained very tied to her Southern roots throughout her life.

Carolyn graduated from Malvern High School in Malvern, AR.  She received a BA from Hendrix College in Conway, AR and an MDiv from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, where she met George.  Carolyn worked in the field of Christian education for her whole career, serving as a consultant and diaconal minister, writing curriculum, teaching courses, and for more than 30 years, as the Director of the Ministry Resource Center at Yale Divinity School.

Carolyn was an ardent advocate for many causes. She served on the Cheshire Board of Education for 18 years.  She was a delegate to the General and Jurisdictional Conferences of the United Methodist Church, actively supporting the full inclusion of LGBTQ+ people in church life and ministry and the work of the Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA).  She was very involved in the Cheshire United Methodist Church, where George served as pastor for close to 30 years, participating in the music ministry and leading an adult Sunday School class for several decades.

Carolyn relished being unique.  She had a passion for exploring the world, traveling extensively with George to off-the-beaten path places.  On her travels, she collected fossils and other natural specimens and displayed them proudly at home.  She also treasured her children and grandchildren’s artwork and adorned her walls with it.  Carolyn loved to cross-country ski and play the piano.

Carolyn is survived by her children, Hardin Engelhardt and her husband, Ron Wilder of Cary, NC and Jeffers Engelhardt and his wife, Triin Vallaste of Pelham, MA, and siblings Beverly Jackson of Hot Springs, AR, Larry Hardin of Malvern, AR, and Diane Carver of Grand Junction, CO.  Carolyn was the proud grandmother, known as CheChe, of Lacy and Amelia Wilder and Miira and Elli Engelhardt and found joy in joining in their play.

A celebration of Carolyn’s life will be held at the Cheshire United Methodist Church. Details will be announced at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to MFSA or Cheshire United Methodist Church’s Mission Fund. The Alderson-Ford Funeral Home of Cheshire has been entrusted with her care.
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