Irene Johnson Gardiner passed away peacefully on January 8, 2017. Our amazing wife and mother had a major stroke two years ago which enabled us to care for her during this time in which she slowly returned to her original state of innocence. Our care for her was a pittance in comparison to the amount of sacrifice and unconditional love she gave to us throughout our lives. Thank you Mom for your courageous example of compassion for others, which is the legacy you left for all of us.
Irene was born at home on November 26, 1930 in Ogden, Utah. Her parents, Arthur William Johnson, and Elizabeth Walton Johnson joined the Mormon Church in England and immigrated to the United States in 1922. Irene was the last of their children. Her older siblings were Raymond Johnson, Dorothy Johnson Moss, and Frank Johnson. She also had two older half-siblings Arthur Vivian Johnson and Edith Johnson Haring, who along with Raymond were born in England and came to Utah with their parents.
Irene grew up in Ogden and graduated from Weber High School class of ‘48. She was very involved in her class and this interest remained with her right to the end. When most memories and awareness had left her, she could still belt out a rendition of “Good Ole Weber!” Irene met Curt Gardiner at school and after much cajoling he was able to convince her to go out with him. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple on June 14, 1950. Irene and Curt were high school sweethearts to the end and together they forged a long life of family, business and adventure. Thank you Dad for taking such good care of our mother through this difficult season.
Irene’s life centered on her faith and her family. Her seven children grew up knowing their mom always put them first. She instilled in her children an awareness of others and the value of sacrifice and unconditional love. She taught through example the value of service to others. She gave service in many church callings and capacities throughout her life, but she valued none more than being a wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Our mom always put 120% into everything she did. Mom, we will miss your Christmas hand-dipped chocolates, but they will forever remind us what a sweet and amazing mother we were blessed to have.
Irene and Curt owned and operated Gardiner’s Sew and Quilt for 40 years. Irene’s quilts were a symbol of the comfort and compassion she gave to us all. She and Curt served a mission in Baltimore, where mom developed a love for those disenfranchised and underprivileged. Mom demonstrated the epitome of Christ-like love as a missionary and throughout her life. Irene truly was an elect lady.
Irene is survived by her husband, Edward Curtis Gardiner and children: Elizabeth Buchanan, Jan (Roger) Nuttall, DeLayne (Ron) Dewey, Allyson (Rusty) Eskelson, Bill (Melinda) Gardiner, Matthew Gardiner, a special cousin, Edna Johnson Moore, 34 grandchildren, 57 great-grandchildren, with one on the way, and many other extended family and friends .
She was preceded in death by her parents and all of her siblings, her son, Edward Curtis Gardiner Jr., a son-in-law, Stan Buchanan, a former daughter-in-law, Kathy Soelberg Gardiner, and a great-granddaughter angel-baby, Hallie Eskelson.
At Irene’s request a private family service will be held to celebrate our Super-Mom!
Arrangements under the direction of Leavitt’s Mortuary, 836 36th Street, Ogden, Utah.
Condolences can be sent to www.leavittsmortuary.com