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Memorial Mass Held for Hardmans

A memorial mass for George and Marilyn Hardman of McLean, who died at their Bellview Road home on May 28 in what Fairfax County Police described as an apparent murder-suicide, will be held at 1 p.m. today, Wednesday, June 4, at Holy Cross Catholic Church 4900 Strathmore Avenue, Garrett Park, Md., with Money and King of Vienna directing.

The church is located in suburban Maryland near Strathmore Art Center below White Flint Mall.

Police and rescue workers were called to the Hardmans’ Colonial home on quiet, leafy, Bellview Road after they were summoned by a member of the family.

There they found the bodies of the couple, with Marilyn Hardman in the house, dead of apparent stab wounds, and George Hardman’s body on a slate patio below a second-story window. He had apparently made attempts to stab himself, according to police, but his death resulted from the fall.

A neighbor described the couple as somewhat reclusive, although Marilyn Hardman was “extremely gracious and charming. She was a very nice person,” said R. Jack Smith, who lives nearby.

George Hardman, he said, was “a little harder to know, and more sharp-edged.

“I only knew him as a doctor and a man who collected stamps.”

Smith described the impact of the news of their deaths as “incredible. I wouldn’t have thought he was ever a person to command that much passion. They seemed to be placid, ordinary people,” said Smith.

“Everyone seems just as perplexed as the next,” said Donna Martin, a neighbor.

“Everyone loved Marilyn,” Martin said. “Some called her Missy. She was just great to talk to. She seemed very young. She had straight brown hair. She was very kind. They both were kind, concerned people. She had an artful eye and a gentle soul, just a very gentle lady.

“It is just unbelievable. I can’t believe it happened. It was so out of character. She was a teacher. She was very devoted to him.”

But retired pediatrician George W. Hardman, 71, suffered from painful back problems, neighbors said.

He and his wife, 67-year old Marilyn Hardman, are survived by their son, George W. Hardman III, and daughter, Nina R. Hardman of Centreville.

The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to Hospice of Northern Virginia, Suite 500, 9300 Lee Highway, Suite 500, Fairfax VA 22031.

Interment is planned at a later date at West Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia.