Emma Claudine H. Gardner

Published 7:38 pm Friday, February 22, 2019

Emma Claudine Harrell Gardner went to her heavenly home Feb. 21, 2019. Emma was born Jan. 8, 1938, the second of four daughters to the late Emmett G. and Claudine N. Harrell. She was predeceased by her loving husband, Norman L. Gardner Sr. She was also predeceased by a grandson, Nathan C. Peace.

She and Norman were married June 28, 1958. Emma graduated from Longwood University in January 1959 and came home to Suffolk to teach in the Suffolk Public School System until 1985. She began her career teaching second grade and then moved to kindergarten in 1972. She was always glad to see former students and learn of their accomplishments.

Emma and Norman loved to travel and took their children on many adventurous camping trips, including a cross country trip the summer of 1968. They continued to travel in retirement, finally completing their dream of visiting all 50 states. Emma continued to take cruises and camp with her daughter’s family after Norman’s passing.

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Emma enjoyed watching sports. In her younger years, Emma could be found at her son’s high school football games, her daughter’s high school tennis matches and in recent years at little league baseball games when her great-grandchildren were playing.

Emma was a lifetime member of Holy Neck Christian Church, where she was active in the Women’s Fellowship, a member of the choir and taught Sunday school for many years. You could find her behind the table of the “Country Store” the second Saturday of every November, when the church would hold its annual bazaar.

Emma and Norman were active members of Whaleyville #137, Order of the Eastern Star, where she was Worthy Matron seven times. Over the years, Emma held many committee appointments of the Grand Chapter of Virginia and attended every General Grand Chapter session from 1985-2015.

Emma spent many years on the executive committee for the Extension Office of Virginia and its 4-H program.

Through her years of teaching and service to the community, Emma touched the lives of countless children and adults. She was loved by many and will be missed by all.

Emma is survived by her son, N. Lorain Gardner Jr. and his wife, Teresa; her daughter, Brenda G. Peace and her husband, David; grandchildren, Shirley G. Moore (Gary), Tabitha P. Sidwell (Chris), Christopher R. Gardner and Kristi L. Peace; great-grandchildren, Trever Gardner, Emmett Knox, Olivia Sidwell, and Tucker Sidwell; and sisters, Margaret H. Cobb, Georgie H. Copeland (Jimmie) and Mamie H. Sink.

A funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25, 2019, in Holy Neck Christian Church, 4400 Holy Neck Road, Suffolk, by the Rev. Dr. Dave Meadors. Burial will be in the Norfleet’s Family Cemetery. The family will receive friends in the R.W. Baker & Co Funeral Home and Crematory from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019.

The family wants to thank the caregivers with Home Instead Senior Care, at Lake Prince Woods Assisted Living & Health Center and Compassionate Care Hospice for their care during Emma’s final years.

Instead of flowers, the family requests donations to the Nathan C. Peace Memorial Scholarship Fund c/o Holy Neck Church. Condolences may be registered at RWBakerFH.com.