Our beautiful Mom, Carolyn Jean Skeen Gardner, graduated with honors from this life on Thursday, February 20th, 2020. Just 2 weeks shy of 87 years old. There must have been rejoicing as she was reunited with Dad. She missed him so deeply each of the 998 days since he died.
She left us quickly, just 8 days after learning that the cancer in her bones had spread to her liver, slipping away quietly as her granddaughters lovingly cared for her.
Mom was born March 5, 1933 in Ogden, Utah to Thelma Hannah Valentine & Paul Ellison Skeen. She was their first child and the were overjoyed. They could sense how special she was even as a newborn baby. She was their only child for 11 years and they cherished her. Mom had two brothers: Val, and Paul and one little sister, Barbara. They all preceded her to heaven.
Her family moved to Oregon when she was one year old. She was just 15 years old when her Daddy died suddenly of complications of asthma. The little grieving family moved back to Utah.
Mom graduated from Ogden High School, Weber College, and Brigham Young University. She taught kindergarten and 1st grade.
She served a mission to New England for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while her fiancé served a mission to Samoa. She returned August 1st,1958. Dad arrived home August 8. They were married 12 days later in the Salt Lake Temple. She was always the girl of his dreams. They treated each other tenderly, with great respect and perfect love. They were married nearly 60 years.
After Dad died, she was so anxious to be with him again, she would tell us: “You are not to cry when I die, because I will be so very happy.” We made no promises.
Mom was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her life was a testimony of Jesus Christ. To know her was to feel the Savior’s love. She wore her life out in the service of others.
Mom was a teacher by training and by nature. She was always teaching us, rarely using words. She didn’t lecture or raise her voice, but rather taught us by example and love.
Her family was her greatest joy in life. She had 9 children, 36 grandchildren, and 18 great grandchildren. She was the dearest grandma ever, loving each of her grandchildren with all her heart! Grandma always had time to play a game, read a book, and listen. She had a bright smile, an abundance of love, a warm hug, and “free” pretzels.
Mom had the most cheerful attitude and was so grateful and appreciative.
Whenever she was asked how she was doing she would answer “I am so BLESSED!”
She was extraordinarily patient, kind, and loving. Everything she did was done with love.
In the last days of her life she counseled her children and grandchildren to love each other. “Even if you make each other mad, even if you don’t like each other, forgive, forget, move on, and love, love, LOVE!”
Mom loved hummingbirds, white tulips, the scriptures, cookie dough, holding a baby, ice cream, BYU devotionals, raspberry pie from Kneaders, visits from her children and grandchildren, and simply being at home.
We miss her so very much. As we struggle to adjust to a world without her in it, we feel deep gratitude for the gift of loving and being loved by her.
She was an angel in the shape of our Mom. And when God took her back, we said “Hallelujah, she’s home!”
Blaine (Elaine) Gardner: Dawn, Deborah & Chris (Samuel, Grace), Elaine (Jade, Owen)
Paul (Michelle) Gardner: David & Jacki (Adan, Tinley), Avery Tye, Graeme, Bryce & Alexis (Cole, Wade)
Carol (Roger) Carroll: Taylor & Ashley (Korbin, Rylee), Jordan, Kate & Alex, Brooke & Stephen, Mia, Taci, Naika, Olive
Jean (Brent) Doty: Kierste & Trent (Stockton, Easton, Lincoln Blaine), Kara, Abby & KC (Cannon, Crew), Ashton & Bre (Jocelyn, Jolene), Elyse
Lee (Carol) Gardner: Amanda (Randy, Mason), Travis, Luke
Ann (Matt) Fouts: Hannah & Kyler, Jake & Sierra, Ben, Hailey
Val (Heather) Gardner: Zach, Ashley
Barbara (Troy) Baker: Sidney & Byron, Briton, Sister Tara Baker, Ella, Sylee
Mary (Joe) Hayes: Jacie, Andrew, Avery
Visitation Tuesday, February 25 from 6-8 PM at the Bountiful 31st Ward, 585 East Center Street, Bountiful, UT.
Funeral Services will be held Wednesday, February 26, 11:30 AM at the same address, with visiting before from 10-11 AM
Interment will be in the Brigham City Cemetery. Dedication of grave around 3:00pm.
Our heartfelt thanks to Dr. Vincent Hansen, Dr. Ashley Kernan and Dr. Sam Wilson for the tender way they took care of Mom. And to Joyce Sessions for bringing her Salmon lunches on Fridays.