Miss Nonnie was one of the greats

Published 4:07 pm Wednesday, May 9, 2012

When talking about Marianne Stanley Hardin, known to most simply as “Miss Nonnie,” there are certain words that are sprinkled throughout the conversation.

They are words like sweet, gentle, kind, lovely and even hilarious.

Miss Nonnie passed away Thursday at the age of 84.

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I didn’t know Miss Nonnie personally, but after spending the last several days talking to those who did I feel like I did too, and I feel like her passing came much too soon.

Mark Twain said, “Really great people make you feel that you too can be great.”

It’s obvious that Miss Nonnie was a really great person.

Time and time again during the last few days I have had people tell me how special she made them feel. How when she asked them how they were doing, she was truly interested in the answer. To Miss Nonnie it wasn’t a question she asked simply to be polite. She really wanted to know. They told me about how she always asked about their families or what they had going on, and how she always had a smile for them that brightened their day.

More than one person called Miss Nonnie a true Southern lady. Don’t make the mistake of believing that means she was simply a woman from the south. A true Southern lady is gracious, virtuous and self-sacrificing. By all accounts, Miss Nonnie possessed all of those traits and more.

There’s no doubt that her passing is a tremendous loss for our city.

There’s also no doubt that our community is better because Miss Nonnie called it home and touched the lives of countless folks that crossed her path during her years in Greenville.

Miss Nonnie was one of the great ones.