April 3, 1941-Jan. 22, 2024

Patricia Gardner passed away peacefully at her daughter’s home in Washington, Utah, on Monday, Jan. 22, 2024, after a five-year battle with metastatic thyroid cancer.

She was born on April 3, 1941, in Salt Lake City to DeVere and Helen Robinson. During her formative years, her family lived on Kenwood Street in the Highland Park area. An early memory was attending Junior Sunday school with her Grandma Pritchett, who led the singing and only lived a couple of streets away. Whenever she would stay overnight at her Pritchett grandparents, they would always have family prayer, which was new to Pat.  Even though she was young, she realized how important it was to have family prayer, and this was something she always did when she had her own family.

A lot of fond memories and lifelong friends were made in this Highland Park neighborhood with pastimes such as Kick the Can, Hide and Seek, Run Sheepy Run, Annie I Over, jacks, jump rope, hopscotch, badminton and kickball in the street.

Pat’s group of girlfriends stayed close and, later in life, would get together on a regular basis for lunch.  She was in the first graduating class of Highland High in 1959. She loved the social aspect of high school and was involved in choosing the mascot, school colors and school song. She had a nickname as the 7th Cheerleader (there were only six cheerleaders, but Pat was always right there yelling and getting the student body cheering). It also helped that her younger brother Jerry was the punter for the football team.

She always helped get enough signatures to “rally” buses for away games because the school didn’t have buses. She was on the school newspaper staff and involved in drama. Their play “The Emperor’s Nightingale” won the high school state drama competition for one-act plays. Her parents were always loving, supportive, and welcoming, and she felt you would be hard-pressed to find parents as wonderful as hers.

She also loved spending time with relatives. Her mother had four sisters that she considered second mothers. It was always a highlight for her to spend time with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins throughout her life.

After high school, she started at the University of Utah, transferred to Church College of Hawaii (now BYU Hawaii), and eventually finished up her associates at Dixie College (now Utah Tech University). Soon after graduation, she made the decision to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was called to serve in France in what was then the Franco-Belgium mission. She felt it was the best thing she ever did and loved her time there. It was in her last proselyting area, Nancy, that she met another missionary, Marvin Gardner, who she would later marry.

Marvin returned home shortly after Pat and proposed the night he got home. They were married in August 1965.  Marvin’s pursuits took the family across three states in their married life: Utah, Arizona and California. They had six kids together, the first passing away at birth. Pat loved being a mom to her own kids but would also welcome anyone into her home and treat everyone like family. Marvin and Pat divorced in 1991. Pat went on to graduate with a teaching degree and then became a teacher at Cinnamon Hills Youth Crisis Center for almost 20 years.

Pat was a lady of many talents and hobbies. She excelled as a homemaker and spent many hours canning fruits and vegetables, baking thousands of loaves of homemade bread and spending countless hours cooking meals, making sure everyone was fed. She was always involved in her church and held many callings, including, at one point or another, president of her Primary, Young Women and Relief Society organizations. She was the perfect listening ear and was slow to judge. She was great at sending birthday cards and keeping up with everyone on social media. She loved attending theater productions, especially musical theater and religion classes. She was always down for a jigsaw puzzle, chocolate candy or going out for Mexican food. Her greatest joy came from being a mom and grandma and being involved in her kids and grandkids’ lives.

Pat was a strong and courageous woman and fought cancer like a warrior. Her strength and positive attitude were admirable. She was a great example, a hero to many.  She was loved by all who knew her and will be greatly missed.

Pat was preceded in death by her parents DeVere and Helen Robinson; her daughter Nancy; and her brother-in-law Brent Eyre.

Pat is survived and missed by her children Dee (Amanda) Gardner of Salt Lake City, Utah, Mike (Jaime) Gardner of Washington, Utah, Liz (Charles) Talbot of Washington, Utah, Rich Gardner of Ivins, Utah, and Dennis Gardner of Salt Lake City, Utah; 14grandchildren: Roman and Mattie, Frank and Bella, Emerson, Kate, Laken, Sawyer, Asher, Sessel and Charity, Daniel and Taylor, Ethan, Sage, Chase, Triston, Callie; two great-grandchildren: Everley and Cooper; siblings and their families Jerry (Dianne) Robinson andColleen Eyre.

A memorial service will be held in St. George, Utah, on Saturday, Jan. 27, from 11 a.m. to noon, with a Celebration of Life open house to follow from noon to 1 p.m. at 591 W 500 N, St. George, Utah. Click here to live-stream the memorial service.

Condolences in Southern Utah may be left at or sent to Pat’s daughter, Liz Talbot, at 910 E Crooked Creek Drive, Washington, Utah, 84780.

Larkin Mortuary is arranging services in Salt Lake City. A viewing and memorial service will be held in Sandy, Utah, at Larkin Sunset Gardens on Friday, Feb. 2. Viewing from 12:30-1:40 p.m., with memorial service from 2-3 pm at 1950 E. Dimple Dell Road (10600 S), Sandy, Utah. The memorial service will be streamed at larkinmortuary.com.