Name: Barbara Havlik Martoglio

Where do you  live? I live and work in Montclair. 

When did you move there? 

I lived in Montclair for two years while attending Montclair State back in 1978, and then moved back to Montclair in 1983 and lived in a basement apartment on Bellevue Ave. with two roommates and several cats and kittens. Several years later, I lived in an apartment on Glenridge Ave. above a veterinarian, Dr. King, who was and continues to be my vet. After a brief stint in West Orange, I moved into a brand new pre-fab on Bruce Road, which is where I seemed to develop an affinity for living “on the tracks.”  Expecting my first child, I moved to a bigger home on the tracks on Park Street, conveniently located near the high school. My four amazing children attended MHS, and we had multiple cats, viszlas, rabbits, guinea pigs, snails, goldfish, and bettas. In the wild, I have forged connections with wild rabbits, chipmunks, squirrels, fox, groundhogs, moles, birds, including a blue heron, and many deer and fawn.  

Where did you grow up? I was born in Passaic County, but grew up in Parsippany.  

How do you make a living? OR What is your everyday passion?

I have been a social worker since my second job out of college. When I moved back to NJ, I started working as a paralegal social worker with the Community Health Law Project, where I worked for 13 years representing clients with disabilities in obtaining entitlements. I then started the Friend Advocate Program and Essex County Adult Protective Services, established to help the elderly and disabled to live with quality of life and protect them from abuse, neglect and exploitation.  

While pregnant with my third child, I decided I needed more flexibility in my work life and started a non-profit, called Life Management, Inc., which enabled me to work and raise a family with control over my schedule, more or less. I worked many long nights after the kids went to asleep, but felt so fortunate that I could pick my kids up and coach soccer after school.

The agency, since its inception, has operated Senior Phone Alert, Guardianship Monitoring, Guardianship Training Programs and continues to operate the County’s Senior Home Repair Program. It also provides services and activities for families living in affordable housing in developments in Essex and Monmouth County, and soon Passaic County as well.  

I am also in the process of creating a non-profit WellNest Center in Montclair, where I am looking forward to exposing people to non-traditional wellness and healing tools, such as: IntenSati, a class that I teach (an aerobic class set to music and affirmations that empower people to live in the present the way they would like to live in their future), reiki, rolfing, meditation, yoga, crystals, dance therapy and more.  Everyone needs tools in their tool box and my goal is to help people find their tools.   

Coffee, tea or … ?

I have yet to find a brand that beats Starbucks Italian Roast.  I make it at home or drink Americana’s with an extra shot at Starbucks.  As of late… I am super addicted to hot water, yes plain hot water.  Thanks to Sharon Rudy’s “Return to Radiance” women’s mentoring group, I now hydrate with hot water. It has to be hot! Without her and “Body Thrive” I would not have known that hot water was my key to proper hydration.

What’s your idea of a perfect weekend day?

IntenSati Class, and depending on the season: Farmer’s market, Starbucks, hiking, biking, skiing or gardening. I crave and feel best with lots of physical activity and enjoy seeing dance performances, especially at the Joyce Theatre. I also love watching soccer and football games, preferably in person.

What’s your favorite local restaurant? My home – where I am the head chef, server, bottle washer and bartender.

What’s on your nightstand? A clock, lamp, my favorite crystals, my tarot card of the month, some hot water and water stains.   

What are you listening to? Dua Lipa, Rufus Du Sol and classic rock, and many other artists, because music truly feeds my soul.

What are your current indulgences? My kids are number one, but I also love plants, inside and out. I am a true plant hoarder. I cannot throw away clippings without trying to root them. 

What talent would you most like to have? I wish I could really sing, as it is a talent you can bring with you anywhere, no equipment needed. Music feeds my soul and a singing voice could accompany me alone or with others, as well as in the shower, driving, gardening, dancing and wherever.  

What’s the worst-kept (or best-kept!) secret about Montclair? Mills Reservation… sshhh!!! It is a hidden gem, as is the garden behind the former United Way building, next to Montclair Public Library on South Fullerton.

What do you hope they say about you at your funeral? She lived such a long, amazing, kind of quirky, but full and interesting life.  And it is a miracle that she finally learned to sing by the time she was 100.