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The Catalyst

Hospital maintenance worker remembered for his service

Staff Report

Herbert Olen Hardwick, a trade specialist working with Hospital Maintenance-University hospital, died at his home in North Charleston, Oct. 13, following a long illness. He was 63.

Originally from Conway, Hardwick was born April 22, 1950 to Herbert N. Hardwick and Lillian Christopher Hardwick. A devoted family man and friend to many, Hardwick was committed to his job and compassionate service to help others. He was a supporter of charitable projects, including MUSC’s Tender Memories Perinatal Loss Support Group providing homemade rum cakes for their annual bake sale fundraisers. Hardwick also enjoyed several hobbies such as NASCAR and metal detecting at Lowcountry beaches. For many of his jewelry finds, he found joy in returning objects back to its original owners.

Hardwick is survived by his wife, Paula, a nurse in Women’s Care Services, and other family.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Hardwick’s honor to MUSC Hollings Cancer Center, 86 Jonathan Lucas St., Charleston, SC 29425.

“What can I say about a man whose celebration of life was found in making those around him smile? The staff of MUSC have known and loved Olen because he could  bring a smile to the face of any of us even in the midst of our personal or professional turmoil. We will miss him so.”
—Deb Balasia, R.N.,5W, university hospital

“When I first met Olen, he was indeed friendly. I am truly missing him.”
—Sandra Fokes, 5W, university hospital

 “Every time I would pass Olen in the hallways, he would always have a smile on his face and a story to tell. His stories about his family, NASCAR, and all of his finds from metal detecting at the beach were always so interesting and they will really be missed. He seemed to have so much passion for all things that surrounded him. I am glad I had the honor to meet and know Olen.”
—Kelly C. Finke, university hospital social worker

“This was the man who could always bring a smile to anyone’s face. When the elevator doors opened and you saw Olen’s smile, it brightened your day. His compassion for families and employees was evident. Every year the Tender Memories committee has a huge bake sale. Olen would make the most fabulous and delicious rum cake. People came specifically looking for these treasured goodies baked with love. The cakes would immediately sell out!”
—Karen Stephenson, R.N., 5W and 5 Labor & Delivery nurse manager

“Olen would always greet you with a smile and when you asked him ‘How are you today?’ He would always respond with ‘Today is a great day being able to work with such a great group of people!’”
—Michelle Sharp, educator, Women’s Services

 “The first day that I met Olen Hardwick, he made what was a difficult transition from 10 East Surgical Oncology to 7 West easy by always offering himself no matter what you asked of him. He will always be remembered and missed by the entire 7 West staff.”
—Lanita Davis, 7W and 5W ART

“Olen was a great person to work with, he was always willing and able to do any maintenance job that was asked of him. He even allowed me to take a moment and pray with him during his illness. Great employee!”
—Deborah Marshall, Therapeutic Services
“Olen was a good co-worker and a big brother to me. We worked together as a team on different projects to improve customer service at MUSC facilities. He is gone but not forgotten by me and others. Rest in peace my friend.”
—Vanessa Jackson, Hospital Maintenance–East
“Olen loved his job, loved to work, and loved the people he worked with. He never wanted to be away from this place. Olen was never worried about how sick he was, he just wanted to come to work and have fun doing his job. He once told me that working in hospital maintenance was the best job he ever had.”
—Avery Rivers, Hospital Maintenance—East

December 1, 2013

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