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Retired educator dies in wreck

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By Cindy Simpson and Damon Lawrence

A retired Roane County educator known for her love of music was killed in a car wreck Tuesday afternoon.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Margie Wadlington, 83, was a passenger in a 2011 Buick driven by her husband, George Wadlington.

He was attempting to make a turn onto Smalley Lane from Hwy. 58.

A 2005 Audi driven by Zuniga Rafael Gonzalez struck the Buick broadside, causing it to strike a 2001 Honda that was attempting to make a right turn onto Hwy. 58 from Smalley Lane.

Margie Wadlington was killed in the wreck. George Wadlington, 84, was injured.

Gonzalez and the Honda’s driver, Dennis R. Austin, were not injured.

The accident happened around 1 p.m.

The THP report said citations and charges were pending.

Margie Wadlington was passionate about music, which is why she was active in Harriman Music Club, among her various other activities.

South Harriman Baptist Church minister of music Sam Leslie replaced George Wadlington as minister of music at the church in 1996.

He said the Wadlingtons were active at Kingston First Baptist Church.

“They are just good, fine people. She was just a sweet lady and had a love for music and wanted to see good music continue,” said Leslie.

One of his accompanists is the pair’s daughter-in-law, Rita. Leslie, who is also an ordained minister, performed the wedding of one of Margie’s granddaughters.

Jo Belle Masters knew Margie through Roane County Retired Teachers organization, as well as Harriman Music Club and Roane Choral Society.

Masters said Wadlington encouraged her to join the retired teachers organization.

“She’s a pusher,” Masters said. “She wanted me involved as soon as I retired.”

Masters admired Wadlington’s energy and involvement.

“I didn’t realize her age. She always seemed younger,” Masters said.

“She was well-read on anything political or pertaining to teachers,” she continued.

“She’s going to be missed. She had her fingers in a lot of pies.”

The Wadlingtons were married on Dec. 18, 1950. They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in 2010.

According to Roane County School records, Wadlington came to work in Roane Schools in August 1980 and retired from the school system in June 1994.

She was a school counselor at Cherokee Middle School. She was also known for her community service with Roane County Anti-Drug Coalition.

Her services were incomplete at press time, but Kyker Funeral Home of Kingston is in charge.