Mom passed away in her home on Saturday, June 18, 2022 after a blessed life. She was 88. Doris Elaine Keller Gardner was born October 21, 1933 in her family home located in Manti, Utah. Her parents are Franklin Alonzo and Marguerite Christensen Keller. She said her father was not too happy with the timing of her birth because it was deer hunting season. Her birth brought the family their second girl and a boy would be born five years later.
She spent her childhood in Manti, playing games in the park, like Run, My Sheepy Run. Her father raised sheep and when a mother ewe was not able to take care of her baby lamb, Doris became their caretaker. She would feed them and take care of their needs including a parade through the house. Her close girl friends formed a group that they called “The Glories” and they have remained close friends through all the years. She was chosen Miss Manti and won a school election where she used the emblem of the extinct dodo bird in her campaign. Dodo was her nickname.
She graduated from Manti Hugh School, attended Snow College, and then went north to Logan and graduated from Utah State University in Home Economics. Along with her degree she found her soon to be husband. Willard L. Gardner and Doris were married for time and eternity in the Manti Temple on June 24, 1955. Because Willard had joined the United States Air Force they were first stationed at Amarillo AFB, Texas. The best part of that stay was the birth of two of their children, Valayne and Doug. The next stop was Germany where they lived at a number of bases. After another transfer to Glasgow AFB, Montana, Lanette and Patti were born. A change in assignments was to take the family to Panama where only Willard could go until he found housing for the family so the rest of the family stayed in Manti for the winter and Arthur was born in Mt. Pleasant, Utah. After Panama, the family moved back to Utah and when Willard enlisted in the Air Force their last base housing was at Hill AFB, Utah. After living in Clearfield, Utah for a number of years they eventually settled in Layton.
Mom had served in all auxiliaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her service included Ward and Stake Primary President, Ward Relief Society President and Counselor, Visiting Teaching Supervisor and Sunday School Secretary. She loved getting to know the people in her Ward and it warmed her heart when the young children acknowledged and visited her. She even made special fruit face dinners for families with little ones.
Her children know of her total love for them. She taught principles of truth and righteousness and helped live them. She taught useful skills to her children like sewing, cooking, canning and cleaning. These skills are used daily. Our mother was willing to serve, both her family and her friends, neighbors, and Ward members. Where some might say “I have done enough in my life,” she was aware of people and looked for ways to serve them. People loved her in return, and we are grateful for the many special friends who showed such love for our mother. She had a great sense of humor and didn’t mind too much when she was the object of a joke.
Her family loves her for her chocolates that were a labor of love (as they have come to find out.) We love her for the home she kept for us. It was clean and orderly and a safe place to be and she fed us well (except salmon casserole). She always welcomed our friends and made them feel part of the family.
She is preceded onto graduation by her husband, Willard (July 19, 2008), her father, mother, and younger brother David. She is survived by her sister, Caroleen, all of her children, Valayne (George) Love, Douglas (Brenda) Gardner, Lanette (Blake) Hawkes, Patti (Kevin) Shields, Arthur (Cheryl) Gardner, 23 grandchildren and 41 great-grandchildren.
A family graveside service will be held on Saturday, June 25, 2022 at the Manti City Cemetery.