Born in the rolling hills of Grassland, Kentucky on May 17, 1931, Maphajean Hardin was the youngest daughter of Sylvester and Elva (Vincent) Hardin’s eight children.
Always a daring adventurer, she and Seward White played hooky from school on Nov. 10, 1948 and got married. Together, the two raised five children. They moved from Roundhill, KY to Louisville, then settled in Indianapolis, where Seward opened White Drywall in 1956.
A known lover of fashion and beauty, Maphajean decided to go to cosmetology school in the late 1950s and started her own beauty shop in Clermont. Creativity was at the very core of Maphajean, influencing everything she did throughout her colorful life. This creativity is most seen through her beautiful paintings.
She began painting as a child, creating paint from berries and stones, but officially entered into the artistic world in the 1960s. She studied the art of painting at many institutions, including Herron School of Art, IUPUI, Indiana University Kokomo and University of New Mexico. She was also trained by the best teachers, both nationally and internationally.
In 1990, Maphajean and Seward built a home in the heart of the artist colony of Nashville, Indiana, where they became permanent residents. There, she was trained by her friend and mentor Frederick Rigley. Her oil, watercolor and mixed-media works have donned the walls of the Brown County Art Gallery and Brown County Art Guild. She received many awards for her artwork and was featured in the Southwest Art Magazine.
Maphajean’s adventurous spirit and wanderlust allowed her to travel the world, visiting Europe, Asia, Egypt, Israel, Central America and much of the United States. She had a love of the southwest, which is seen in the pueblos and deserts in many of her paintings.
She and Seward began spending winters in Tucson, AZ, enjoying the warm desert air on their patio, painting the lemon tree in their back yard, and hosting family when they came to see the Grand Canyon, which she dubbed “the big ditch.”
Maphajean passed on Feb. 6, 2021, surrounded by her loving family.
She is survived by her husband of 72 years Seward of Nashville, IN; daughters Brenda Roberts (Gary), Beverly White, Rhonda Williams (Bruce), Reva Kreie (David) and one son, Charles Steven White (Vicki), all of Nashville; 11 grandchildren, 18 great-grand children and two great-great-grandchildren; sister Daphene Phelps of Brownsville, KY.
She was preceded in death by her parents; one sister, Pauline Clark; and five brothers, Oval Hardin, Lamond Hardin, Duval Hardin, Rumsey Hardin and Haskell Hardin; and beloved grandson Dallas White and great-granddaughter, Petra Roberts.
While her family may grieve her absence, we find comfort in knowing that she is now in the presence of her loving Savior, and that we will one day see her again. Til then, we will carry on her ways of creativity, silliness, glamor, gutsiness, hospitality, spunk, strength, tenderness and love—all the legacy of a woman unique as her own name.
Pastor Cory Joy will conduct a Celebration of Life service at 6 p.m. on Friday, February 19th at Meredith-Clark Funeral Home Cremation & Personalization Center: 179 E. Mulberry Street in Morgantown. Friends may call from 4 – 6 p.m. Friday at the funeral home. All guests attending visitation and/or services will be required to wear a mask at all times in an effort to promote a safe environment.
Memorial contributions can be sent in memory of Maphajean to DoSomethingNashville.org: P.O. Box 2022 Nashville, Indiana 47448.
Expressions of caring and kindness can be made to the White family at www.meredith-clark.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Maphajean (Hardin) White, please visit our floral store.