Charlene Gardner

June 28, 1939 - June 7, 2024

Location Of Death: Canyon City, OR United States

Celebrating Life

Charlene Margaret Gardner, 84, passed away June 7, 2024, at her home in Canyon City. She was born June 28, 1939, in Baker City, Oregon to Charles and Margaret Kempfer. Charlene attended St Francis Academy for all 12 years of her education graduating in 1957. She then attended Providence School of Nursing in Portland and became a registered nurse in 1960. After working in Portland for a few years, Charlene moved to John Day to work at Blue Mt Hospital. She was the only nurse on the graveyard shift most of the time and fondly recalled a time when the mortuary’s hearse was also used as the ambulance and the funeral director would check in with the hospital staff to make sure things were going ok during the nighttime hours. Shortly after moving to John Day, Charlene met her future husband, John Gardner, and they were married on December 29, 1963. John and Charlene had 4 children and raised them on approximately 30 acres on Little Pine Creek. Charlene lived on their property until 2017 when she reluctantly moved to Canyon City. Charlene stopped working at Blue Mt Hospital to raise her children but continued to work one day per week for Dr. LC Spaulding in his clinic. Later, she went to work full-time at Gardner Enterprises. She retired in 2001. Charlene was an accomplished pianist from an early age following 13 years of lessons. She was known to provide music for weddings, funerals, weekly mass, and many Grant Union High School musical productions during the 1980’s. She also loved to garden, sew, read, pick fruit in the family’s orchard and to take care of her pets, including many strays. Charlene’s children and grandchildren were the highlight of her life, and she enjoyed nothing more than spending time with them. Holidays were always celebrated at Charlene’s home. She was active in St Elizabeth Catholic Church for over 60 years, was a member of the Old West Federal Credit Union board of directors, a longtime member of the Can Day Garden Club, and for many years was the chair of the parade committees for 62 Days and the Grant County Fair Parade. Charlene is survived by her children Tony Gardner (Carmen) of Canyon City, Andy Gardner (Amber) of Stayton, Jennifer Gardner of Salt Lake City, and Amy Walker (Mike) of John Day; six grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and multiple nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband of 49 years, John in 2012, her parents, her brother and her nephew. A rosary will be held Thursday, June 13th at 6 pm at Driskell Memorial Chapel. Funeral mass will be held Friday, June 14th at 10 a.m. at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church with graveside service at St Andrew’s Catholic Cemetery and reception to follow at St Elizabeth Catholic Church Parish Hall. Memorial contributions in her honor can be made to Saint Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church or to Blue Mountain Home Health and Hospice through Driskill Memorial Chapel, 241 S. Canyon Blvd., John Day, OR 97845. Obituary courtesy of Driskill’s Memorial Chapel.

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