Cover photo for Marilyn Jean Lockhart's Obituary
Marilyn Jean Lockhart Profile Photo

Marilyn Jean Lockhart

February 16, 1934 — June 10, 2024

Brevard, North Carolina

Marilyn Jean Lockhart

Marilyn Jean Lockhart, 90, of Brevard, North Carolina, passed away after a brief illness, in the company of people who loved her, on June 10, 2024.

Marilyn was born on February 16, 1934, in Columbus, Ohio, the oldest child of Orville and Edith (Van Dyke) Woodyard. As a child, Marilyn excelled in academics, visual arts, and sports. She was the starting pitcher for her high school softball team.

Marilyn briefly toyed with the idea of majoring in art but decided instead to follow in the footsteps of her physicist father. She graduated from Muskingum College (New Concord, OH) in 1956 and Northwestern University in 1957 with degrees in mathematics. She was always one of the very few women among her classmates in the scientific disciplines. Although she had originally intended to be a math teacher, she was hired instead by IBM, straight out of grad school, as a programmer in the cutting-edge field of computer science. She moved to Poughkeepsie, NY to accept that position.

At an IBM-sponsored folk-dance class, she met her future husband, Newton Lockhart. They were married in 1958 and, when Marilyn became pregnant with her first child, she was forced to retire from her position. They settled in Lagrange, NY, and spent the next 25 years raising their two sons there. They were extremely serious square dancers, and less serious bowlers. They took their family on many camping and hiking adventures, including a seven-week expedition across the country in 1971. Marilyn enjoyed needle arts, including needlepoint, embroidery, and knitting. She went back into the workforce as her children grew older, managing a needle arts store and teaching needlecraft and breadmaking at the local County Extension.

The Lockharts retired in 1985, and moved to Brevard, NC to be closer to Marilyn’s parents. They started to travel extensively in the 1990s, exploring destinations like Australia, Europe, and Alaska. They also enjoyed travelling to visit their sons, of whom she was extremely proud, and their ever-expanding families, and one special spot on the coast of Maine. They were active parishioners at First United Methodist Church in Brevard, and active supporters of the Brevard Music Center, an internationally renowned summer program for aspiring classical musicians. When Newt passed away in 2016, Marilyn’s travel schedule slowed down somewhat, but she remained a constant presence at Brevard Music Center, attending almost every event there, all throughout the year. She also reprised her role as a star athlete, winning gold medals in the North Carolina Senior Games in bocci, beanbag toss, and several other disciplines. She was a legendary bocci player among the elder Brevard population.

Marilyn was predeceased by her husband, Newton (2016). She is survived by her brother, Owen Woodyard of Sarasota, FL, and by her two sons: Keith Lockhart (and his wife, Emiley) of Boston, MA, the conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra and artistic director of the Brevard Music Center, and Dr. Paul D. Lockhart (and his wife, Mary), an historian and successful author based in Dayton, OH, as well as eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

A Celebration of Life for Marilyn will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers, please consider contributions to the Brevard Music Center, Brevard College, or Muskingum College. To leave a memory or condolence for the family of Marilyn Lockhart, go to the online registry at “Obituaries” at www.mooreblanchard.com.

Moore-Blanchard Funerals & Cremations is honored to serve the family.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marilyn Jean Lockhart, please visit our flower store.

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