Della Marie Gardner|
December 7, 1920 - November 22, 2013
Della M. Gardner, 92, went to be with her Lord and Savior on November 22, 2013, at 3:35pm - two weeks shy of her 93rd birthday. Della's desire and prayers were to join her husband of 76 years, James L. Gardner, who went to be with The Lord just three weeks prior on November 1, 2013. Della's prayers were answered on the birthday of her daughter Renee' Gardner, who proceeded her on July 24, 1983.
Della was born on December 7, 1920, in Hillsboro, Wisconsin as Della Marie Jones. She met the love of her life, James "Jim" LeRoy Gardner, while attending a hometown dance at the tender ages of 12 and 15. They walked 8 miles each direction to see each other from Della's home in town to Jim's home on the farm. This precious young couple pledged their love and commitment to each other on August 21, 1937, at the ages of 16 and 19. The two remained together and never apart, with the exception of Jim's time in the United States Navy during WWII (1942-1948), and then in their final days between Jim's death on November 1, 2013, and Della's passing on November 22, 2013.
Around 1949, Della and Jim along with their two young daughters moved to Chicago, IL, which began the growth of their family (10 children in all). In 1963, Della and Jim loaded up the station-wagon and moved to Colorado Springs along with the 8 youngest out of their 10 children.
Della was not only a wife, mother and now grandmother, but she was also the chauffeur, referee, school volunteer, sports coach (fishing, softball, baseball and bowling), activities director, cook, housekeeper...all of these on top of being a co-owner and operator of Jamesway Carwash, Jim & Della's convenient store (located on Fillmore St.), 30th Street Carwash and four laundromats. Next to being a mother of 10, she would admit one of her most rewarding jobs was not a job at all but a blessing...Della was a 'Pink Lady' at Penrose Hospital from the 1970's to 1980. Her gift of love, compassion and gentle spirit was needed to help the hurting and the dying.
One of Della's favorite things to share with others was her faith. On November 8, 1968, in a small church (First Assembly of God) on Pikes Peak and Walnut, she gave her heart and life to Jesus Christ. Her testimony went way beyond just words. Everyone who met or had the privilege of knowing Della could see that the love of God was real and evident in her actions and everyday life.
In December of 1981, Della and Jim retired to Florida. They were very active members and involved in several ministries at First Assembly of God in Clearwater, Florida. After 22 years of being away from her large family, Della was determined to spend her final years back in Colorado Springs (of course her sweetie Jim wouldn't allow her to go on her own). So, in the
Summer of 2003, Della and Jim moved back to Colorado Springs, Colorado.
For the last 6 years Jim and Della were active members of Calvary Church on S. 25th St.
Della truly lived out her life with the hope of heaven and with her unconditional love for everyone. Della's prayer time was without ceasing with her family being brought to The Lord daily, name by name...her children, their spouses, the grandchildren, their spouses and the great grandchildren and their spouses. She was never concerned with material things, knowing, as she stated in her final days on earth, "this is not my home, my home is where my Lord is and where Jim is." 1 John 3:17-18 "If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth."
Della was preceded by her daughter Renee' E. Gardner in July 1983 and the love of her life for 81 years, Jim Gardner (who passed only three weeks prior on November 1, 2013). She is survived by her five daughters and four sons - Cynthia Flanagan (COS), Sheila Murphy (COS), Gary Gardner (FL), Harry Gardner (COS), James Gardner (SC), Debbie Leiting (COS), Randy Gardner (COS), Teresa Metts (COS) and Tricia Gonzalez (VA). Della is also survived by her 21 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.
Della's Celebration of Life service will be held at
Living Hope Worship Center in Colorado Springs
640 Manitou Blvd, (80904)
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Visitation 11am- 12pm
Graveside immediately following service at Memorial Gardens Cemetery
3825 Airport Rd. (and Academy Blvd.)
In lieu of flowers, the family requests gifts made to:
917 S. 25th St.
Colorado Springs, CO 80904
Published in The Gazette on Nov. 27, 2013