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2021 August 14th: Kathy Gardner

Updated: Sep 17, 2021

Kathleen (Kathy) Louise Currie Gardner, age 85, passed away August 14, 2021, in Newport Beach, California. She was born on July 21, 1936, to Harold and Ilene Currie in Santa Monica, California.

Kathy grew up in Los Angeles. Her father was a carpenter and worked for the movie studios. Kathy and her sisters enjoyed getting autographs of the movie stars, and hearing about the set of The Wizard of Oz movie. Kathy graduated with Hamilton High’s Euphorians class of 1954. She attended many high school reunions and stayed in touch with her high school friends. She attended the University of Nevada, Reno, and Fullerton State University, where she earned a degree in Graphic Design.

One of Kathy’s first jobs was in the fabric department at Bullock’s Wilshire in Los Angeles. She had a lifelong love of sewing and made clothes for her girls. She also loved quilting and made many quilts for friends, family, and the Wounded Warriors charity. She loved collecting fabric and putting together quilt tops.

Kathy met her husband Dee while both were working for Sav-On Drugs in Los Angeles, and they married in 1956. The family lived in Anaheim until 1976, when they moved to Lido Isle in Newport Beach, where she thrived. She loved playing tennis, going to the beach, attending her book club, her investment club the Wall Street Walkers, and gardening. Kathy enjoyed playing bridge until a few years ago.

Kathy loved her house on Lido Isle and spent lots of time and energy decorating it, especially in anything black and white. She loved to entertain, as her many sets of China dishes attest to. And she would make waffles or offer ice cream or candy to anyone in her home. Kathy always loved having flowers in her house and in her garden. She spent hours puttering in her yard. She visited Sherman Gardens in Corona del Mar as often as she could.

Traveling was a big part of her life. She and Dee often traveled to Wyoming, Lake Tahoe, and Hawaii and took many ski vacations.

Kathy took each of her granddaughters on a trip to Washington DC or Europe when they turned 12. It was a special time for all of them.

She traveled several times to Europe with friends and her sisters, and to Japan and Australia to visit granddaughters studying abroad.

Art was always an interest of hers, and the family visited many art galleries and museums. She enjoyed working for an advertising agency and St. Andrews church where she used her design skills. She volunteered at church, and for charities that fed the homeless, a special concern of hers.

Kathy will be remembered for her enthusiasm and positive attitude, and love of her family.

Kathy is survived by her daughters Karen George (Joey) of Ames, Iowa, and Susan Sanders (Dana) of Newport Beach; five granddaughters, Allison Sanden (Drew), Evan Schaeffer (Geoff), Mallory Gillett (Alan), Caitlin Divola (Mark) and Brooke Ballon-Landa (Eric); and eight great-grandchildren, Morgan and Logan Sanden, Jolyne Schaeffer, Riley and Dean Gillett, Charlie and Ella Divola, and Cate Ballon-Landa. Kathy is also survived by sisters Sheila Stark of Sun Valley, Nevada, and Virginia Vielle of Sparks, Nevada, many close friends, and her devoted caregivers. She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband L. Dee Gardner.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in her memory to World Vision, PO Box 9716, Federal Way, WA 98063, or Operation Smile, 3641 Faculty Way, Virginia Beach, VA 23453.

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