Blanche E. Gardner
Rockland — Blanche E. Gardner, 90, died peacefully, Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013 at the Knox Center for Long Term Care.
She was born in Pittsfield, Mass., April 29, 1922, the daughter of Fred L. and Goldie Davis Collins. After moving to West Rockport at a young age, she was educated in local schools and was valedictorian of her 1940 graduating class at Rockport High School. Following graduation, she was employed by J. B. Pearson Co. in Thomaston. On June 6, 1943, she married Clifford H. Gardner Jr. at the First Baptist Church in Rockland. They made their home in Rockland and were married for 61 years where they raised their four children. After her children were all in school, she returned to work at Rockland’s South School in the lunch program. Later she began employment with GTE Sylvania in Waldoboro. She retired in 1984 after more than 20 years with GTE.
She was a great cook, had a green thumb, enjoyed swimming, picnicking, traveling, sewing, her dogs, and ice skating. She loved her husband, her children, and her church, and in later years enjoyed being a grandmother and great-grandmother to her family.
For many years, along with her husband, she was active in the First Baptist Church of Rockland. She and her friend Sybil Mills, founded the nursery program at the church. In later years, she attended the West Rockport Baptist Church, which she had joined as a child. She lived her Christian faith and was charitable, and especially enjoyed her membership in The Gleaners.
She was pre-deceased by her husband in 2005; an infant son Jonathan; son Joel M. Gardner; a brother, Fred Collins and sister, Glenys Hamalainen. She is survived by two sons; John Gardner and his wife Linda of South China, Rev. James Gardner and his wife Rebecca of Houlton; a daughter, Janet Shaw and her husband James of South Paris; six grandchildren, Jonathan Gardner and his wife Patti of Waterboro, Sarah Gardner of Hollis; Tiffany Shaw of Waterford; Jared Shaw of South Paris; Benjamin Shaw and his wife Audrey of Waterford; Joel M. Gardner Jr. of Niceville, Fla.; daughter-in-law Cora Gardner of Niceville, Fla.; three great-grandchildren, Sawyer Shaw, Natalie Dumas, and Aislinn Shaw; as well as several nieces and nephews.
Friends and relatives are invited to visit Monday, Jan. 7 from 10 to 11 a.m. at West Rockport Baptist Church, where a celebration of Blanche’s life will be held at 11 a.m. The Rev. David English and her son, the Rev. James Gardner will co-officiate. Spring interment will be in West Rockport Cemetery.
The family would like to thank the employees of the Knox Center for Long Term Care for their wonderful care and support of their mother. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the West Rockport Baptist Church, P. O. Box 221, West Rockport, ME 04856. Arrangements are in care of Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St., Rockland. To share a memory or story with Mrs. Gardner’s family, please visit her online Book of Memories at bchfh.com.