Audrey Estelle Gardner peacefully transitioned from life into eternity on March 6, 2022, in her home surrounded by her family. Audrey was born on February 22, 1937, the third child of the late Clifton, Sr. and Lydia F. Gardner of Williamsburg, VA. She was preceded in death by her brother Charles G. Gardner, fiancé, Frederick “Ted" Tucker, sister-in-law, Juanita Gardner, and nephew, Keith E. Gardner.
Audrey graduated from Bruton Heights School in 1955 and attended Hampton University. She worked at Anheuser Busch, Inc. from the 1970s until 1999 when she retired. She continued to keep in touch with her monthly breakfast Busch buddies.
Audrey grew up in and was a descendent of First Baptist Church on Nassau Street, where she began her early religious training and was actively involved in Sunday School, Baptist Young People's Union (BYPU), Junior Choir, Vacation Bible School, and the Junior Missionary. Since 1956 Audrey continued her religious involvement at the present-day Historic First Baptist Church on Scotland Street. For more than sixty-five years, her supportive and faithful commitment to the church included the following Ministries: Women's Auxiliary, the Missionaries, Hospitality, Transportation, and the Retiree ministry. Additionally, Audrey was a Life Member of the NAACP. Audrey will be remembered for her compassionate and generous deeds.
Family was very important to Audrey, and she cherished every moment and experience. She loved to travel and would excitedly await the chance to drive to New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Florida to visit family and friends whenever the opportunity arose. Additionally, she looked forward to the annual family vacation in the Outer Banks, a tradition that started over twenty years ago. She also enjoyed fishing, crabbing, bowling, and playing cards. Audrey loved sports and her favorite team was the newly named Washington Commanders football team. It didn't matter if it were football, basketball, or baseball we could count on Audrey to deliver 'play by play' commentary and historic statistics.
Audrey was the "Goto Aunt" with a confidential ear and wise advice for nieces, nephews, and even the greats and godchildren. She was always available, loving, and supportive. Taking after her mother, "Grandma G", Audrey was the family historian; she knew names that everyone else had forgotten. Despite losing her eyesight in her later years, her memory was picture-perfect. She could still give driving directions to just about anywhere in Williamsburg.
For all who knew her and loved her, her passing is a great loss, and will always mean an empty chair at their table.
Her memories will forever remain with her siblings, Clifton E. Gardner Jr. (LaVerne Forrest), Dennis F. Gardner (Jacquelyn), and Christine Jordan (James); sister-in-law, Linda B. Gardner; niece, Beverly Gardner; Nephew, Rodney V. Gardner (Valerie Brett), niece, Cherisse S Gardner (Kathryn Davis), nephew, Andre P. Gardner (Lynelle), niece, Kim D. Jordan, nephew, Mark L. Gardner (Margit Detweiler), nephew, Ramon K. Jordan (Megumi), nephew, Christopher S. Gardner (Mary Turner), great-nephews, Landis P. Gardner, Xavier K. Jordan, Austin P. Gardner, and Michael L. Jordan; great-nieces, Maya L. Gardner, Rachel V. Gardner, and Sasha L. Jordan; as well as three adopted nieces, Yvonne Alston, Margaret Richardson, and Rev. Juanita Graham.
A service to celebrate Audrey’s life will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, March 15, 2022, at First Baptist Church. Livestream will be available at the beginning of the service. Interment to follow in Cedar Grove Cemetery. Ms. Gardner may be viewed beginning at 10:00 a.m. until the hour of her service on Tuesday.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests a charitable contribution to the History Ministry of First Baptist Church, 727 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, VA 23185.
Professional services entrusted to the staff of Whiting’s Funeral Home, 7005 Pocahontas Trail, Williamsburg, Virginia 23185. 757-229-3011 whitingsfuneralhome.com