Barbara Reardon, 53: Life with her was ‘never dull’

A couple of months ago, Barb Reardon wandered outside of the Five Points MARTA Station with what looked like a piece of glass protruding from her neck. She couldn’t have been happier as fire, police and medical personnel swarmed around her in the chaotic scene.

As a member of CERT, the Cobb Emergency Response Team, Reardon participated in similar activities twice a year. Later that night she told her husband all about it, complete with pictures.

“She loved those emergency response drills because she got to be done up in makeup,” said her husband, Thomas Reardon. “If she had the choice, she would have loved to have been in movies.”

Barbara Reardon, called Barb by most, died suddenly Feb. 1 at the Marietta home she shared with her husband. She was 53.

A memorial service is planned for 6 p.m. Friday at Zoo Atlanta in the Coca-Cola World Studio, where she worked for more than two years. In addition, the family is planning a memorial service for 11 a.m. March 1 at the Catholic Church of St. Ann, Marietta. Her body was cremated by H.M. Patterson & Son, Canton Hill.

Reardon, who grew up in St. Petersburg, Fla., wanted to be a marine biologist when she was a teen, but went into commercial printing and sales instead. An opportunity for her at the RR Donnelley printing company brought the Reardons to Atlanta from Williamsburg, Va., where she worked until she took a job at another printing company. At the time of her death, she was employed part time at Canterbury Press.

“She was in the industry for more than 30 years,” her husband said. “But when printing took a dip with the economy a few years ago, she saw an opportunity.”

Reardon started working with several nature- and animal-related groups, including the Dunwoody Nature Center and the zoo. She also volunteered at the Georgia Aquarium.

Erin Delahunty, manager of school and family programs at Zoo Atlanta, said Reardon’s dedication to teaching children and working with the animals was evident.

“You could tell she loved this stuff,” said David Boyd, director of education at the Dunwoody Nature Center. “I remember sitting with her, having a 10-minute conversation about Madagascar hissing cockroaches. She was clearly a fan.”

Thomas Reardon said his wife’s varied interests and vivacious personality made their marriage an adventure. During a chat with his wife, he said he’d put a special phrase on her tombstone to honor the life they had together. And although her remains will not be buried, he still wants everyone to know, “It was never dull.”

“She found things that made her happy,” he said. “We can all go through life pitching a fit that, you know, you’ve been thrown a curve ball. But instead she always said she’d go find something that made her happy.”

In addition to her husband, Reardon is survived by sons, Ryan Reardon, Sean Reardon and Timothy Reardon, all of metro Atlanta; a daughter, Christy White Hill of metro Atlanta; a brother, Steven Donahue of St. Petersburg, Fla.; a sister, Karen Facundo of Fort Meyers, Fla.; and two grandchildren.

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