Emily Hardin Obituary, Death – After a brief battle with illness, Emily Marie Hardin, age 26 and a resident of Murfreesboro, passed away on October 19, 2022 at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Emily’s parents, David Max Hardin and Kelly Ann McCoy Hardin, welcomed her into the world on July 10, 1996 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Emily received her diploma from Halls High School in the year 2014. In December of 2018, she earned her Bachelor of Social Work from Middle Tennessee State University. In May of 2022, she earned her Master of Social Work from the University of Kentucky.
She had just recently started working as an admissions counselor at Rolling Hills Hospital in Franklin, Tennessee, which was her first “real social work” job. She had previous experience working as a peer counselor at several organizations that served adults who were severely mentally ill. She had a genuine passion for assisting people who were struggling with issues related to their mental health.
Emily began her martial arts training as a child at Broadway Family Karate, where she eventually attained the rank of second Dan black belt by the time she was ten years old. She participated in a number of competitions across the region, both locally and regionally, as well as the Junior Olympics in Knoxville when it was hosted there.
Emily was another person who cherished music and was talented on the piano and oboe. She participated in a number of community orchestras as an oboist. She was also a member of the Youth Choir at her church, and later on, she was a member of the Chancel Choir. Even after she moved away, she frequently returned home to sing with her former choir members.
Emily was a talented dancer who trained at two dance studios in Knoxville: Dance for Joy and Backstage Dance. She participated in MTSU’s Dance Theatre while she was pursuing a minor in dance at the university, but she discovered that the MPAC Dance Group was where she belonged. Additionally, in 2015, she took part in the Husted Dance Intensive that was held in Nashville. She took great pleasure in choreographing dances that were meaningful to her, particularly those that emphasized the importance of accepting one’s body as it is.
Emily’s life was forever changed when it was discovered that she was born with a congenital valve abnormality in her heart during her junior year at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). She underwent successful valve repair, but in the fall of her senior year in 2017, while she was in the midst of her final year of high school, she unexpectedly went into severe heart failure and was subsequently placed on the transplant list at Vanderbilt.
On December 23, 2017, she visited VUMC in order to receive the life-changing gift of a new heart. She was able to return to dancing and perform a piece that she had choreographed herself called “Tape Measure Dance” at the MPAC recital. Her recovery was remarkably uneventful, and she was able to complete her degree in a little less than a year.
On December 23, 2020, she had the privilege of meeting the mother of heart donor Victor Maurice Hill (via Zoom), and she learned about her son’s life during their conversation. She never stopped working to ensure that his memory and gift were honored. She remained in communication with Victor’s mother, Norma Hill, right up until the latter’s passing. She also became close with Bobbie Owenby, another individual who had received a heart transplant, and came to think of Owenby as her “transplant mama.”
Emily is survived by her beloved nieces Savannah, Jaydence, and Abigail Hardin, as well as by her parents, Robert Hardin and wife Amber, and Brian Hardin and fiancee Gabi Quintero, all of Knoxville, Tennessee; her grandmother, Marilyn McCoy, also of Knoxville; and her brothers, Robert Hardin and wife Amber, and Brian Hardin and fiancee Gabi Quintero, of Charlotte, North Carolina. Her maternal grandparents, Max and Mary Hardin, and her paternal grandfather, Donald McCoy, passed away before she was born.
Emily had just recently gotten engaged to her best friend and life partner, Megan Glosson, and they were in the midst of excitedly planning their wedding. A mutual appreciation for music led to the couple’s introduction in 2018. In their home, at their church, and in community ensembles, you could frequently find them playing the oboe and the flute together. Emily loved Megan’s daughters Meredith and Eleanor just as much as she loved her own children, and they are the only ones to survive her.