Obituary of Carol A. Gardner
Carol A. Gardner passed away peacefully on February 21, 2019. She lived 87 years with a kindness that was contagious. Carol was raised on her family's dairy farm in Chittenango, NY where she learned to cook homemade meals, bake from scratch and knit. She never lost her farm girl sensibility. After graduating from Chittenango High School, Carol became the first college graduate in her family's history when she received a degree in Dietetics from the New York State University of Morrisville in 1951. She became the Head Dietician at Syracuse City Hospital. It was in Syracuse, that Carol met the love of her life, Charles Gardner. Carol and Charles married in 1956, moved to Cortland and Carol changed careers to be a full-time Mom. She was an extraordinary Mother to her two boys. She returned to the workforce in 1968 as one of the first dedicated Teacher's Aides in the Cortland Central School District. She had a life-long love for reading that inspired her to become a librarian and she shared this love with students at Parker Elementary, Barry Elementary, and Cortland Junior Senior High School. Carol and Charles both retired from full-time employment in 1992 and embarked on a two-month driving tour of the United States. Carol dedicated herself in retirement to volunteering at several organizations. At the Cortland Memorial Hospital, she served in a variety of positions and was best known for working in the hospital coffee shop every Friday. Carol was a devoted member of the United Presbyterian Church in Cortland. An underrated musician, who could be counted on to play the piano in a pinch, she possessed a beautiful singing voice and sang in the church choir for over 35 years. She also served as a church Deacon and loved baking pumpkin pies for the annual fall fundraiser. Carol and Charles spent many happy summers on Skaneateles Lake and winters on Sanibel Island, FL. Carol was an avid cyclist and enjoyed riding the trails around Sanibel. Carol's favorite role was being a Grandmother. Grammy shared her love of books, her endless search for sea glass, an endless supply of handknit sweaters, and her kind heart with her six grandchildren. Carol shared a great love of family, friends and life. She leaves behind two sons Michael (Jill) of Clarksville, MD and Christopher (Lori) of Skaneateles and several nieces and nephews. Grammy leaves behind six grandchildren that she adored: Eugene (Lindsay), Elliot, Austin, Charlotte, Nathan and Charlie. Carol was predeceased by her husband Charles who passed away December 9, 2018. Married for 62 years, they died only 74 days apart. In addition to her husband, Carol was predeceased by her parents Russell and Marjorie (Johnson) Austin, her sister, Jean Cunningham, and her brother, James Austin. A memorial service will be held for Carol and Charles on Saturday, April 27, 2019, at the United Presbyterian Church, 25 Church Street, Cortland at 11:00 AM. A reception will be held immediately following at the Cortland Country Club. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the United Presbyterian Church Choir Fund, 25 Church Street, Cortland, NY 13045.