Looking back: Ann Hardman talks about becoming the new Muscogee County Superior Court clerk
Muscogee County Superior Court Clerk Ann Hardman passed away Monday morning after a brief illness, according to Mayor Teresa Tomlinson.
Tomlinson said she had been notified by the family that Hardman passed away at 2 a.m.
“Ann had taken a leave of absence to tend to her resurgence of colon cancer,” the mayor wrote in a statement to the Ledger-Enquirer. “... I did not know that she was so far along, but according to her family her condition had deteriorated over the last 2 to 3 weeks.”
Later Monday morning, the family released a statement to the public.
“The family of Dr. Ann L. Hardman celebrates her life, legacy and faith, as she is now spiritually healed and home with the Lord,” it reads. “She transitioned from this life early Monday morning surrounded by her beloved family. A woman of integrity and unyielding faith was committed to her family, church families, local government and community.”
Tomlinson followed up with an 11 a.m. news conference to express sadness for Hardman’s untimely death and inform the public of her replacement. She was dressed in black and accompanied by teary-eyed staff from the Clerk of Superior Court office, as well as City Manager Isaiah Hugley and Deputy City Manager Lisa Goodwin.
“We were shocked and, of course, devastated to hear,” she said of the news of Hardman’s passing. “Ann was such a great lady. She had done so much to increase the morale, efficiency and functionality of our Superior Court. There was such a level of cooperation and just effectiveness that had been occurring...little over a year.”
The mayor said Hardman held one of four constitutional positions in the county and served the community well.
“Ann had held that position after being duly elected in November of 2016,” she said. “She was placed in office in January of 2017 and has served continuously since.”
Standing next to the mayor was Shasta Glover, whom Tomlinson introduced as Hardman’s replacement until a special election is held in November.
Tomlinson said Glover has worked in the Superior Court Clerk’s office since January 2017. She was named Chief Deputy Clerk on March 13, under Georgia law, and sworn in by Probate Judge Marc D’Antonio to fill that position.
Hardman, chief executive officer of three Christian ministries, was elected to office in 2016, unseating the long-time incumbent Linda Pierce in a runoff.
She was pastor of Faith Worship Center International in Columbus and River of Life Full Gospel Outreach Church in her hometown of Asheville, N.C. She also ran Ann Hardman Ministries, which trains and licenses other pastors, conducts prayer and leadership conferences and plants churches throughout the country. She authored 10 books.
In a 2016 interview with the Ledger-Enquirer, Hardman said she ran for office because she saw it as another way to make a contribution to the community.
“I just felt that this would be a great opportunity for me to share myself and give myself in a different way,” she said.
Tomlinson said Hardman and her husband, Norman, had been married for about 33 years. They have four adult children and many grandchildren.
“They just welcomed a baby boy grandson and then twins here recently,” she said. “So there have been many, many blessings. I had just talked to her about two weeks ago about this, and was just truly stunned this morning to hear of the great loss of a woman who had been a minister, a businesswoman, so successful, so dynamic. She was just a true leader. She will be missed.”
Services are expected to be Friday and Saturday.