Shirley A. Buchanan Gardner
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Shirley A. Buchanan Gardner, died Monday, March 24, 2014 at CentraState Medical Center, Freehold Township from complications of emphysema and COPD. Born in New York City, New York Shirley moved to New Jersey in 1924. She was a graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School, Weehawken in 1937 at the tender age of 16. She then attended Columbia and Lee Business School in New York for the next two years, graduating in 1939.
When World War II commenced she became involved in the Lend Lease Program between the United States and England, working with the British Purchasing and the British Air Commission on Wall Street from 1940 to 1945. She married her beloved George in 1942 prior to his deployment overseas. Her spare time was spent volunteering as an air raid warden in her hometown of Weehawken. She became an active member of the American Women's Volunteer Services in New York and also sold War Bonds door-to-door. She spent long hours on the telephone/radio marathon bond drives. A cherished thank you note was received after the war from President Truman. As the war ended Shirley joined the staff of the Associated Press and served as secretary to the editor of news features. She left her job in 1949 to raise her family.
After residing in Teaneck for 18 years the family moved to Freehold Township in 1965 where she resided for the past 49 years. She became a charter member of the Molly Pitcher Woman's Club of Freehold, organized in 1966 in Freehold Township. She participated in many volunteer services and throughout the past years held many positions within the club. She won many state awards in creative arts, conservation, and garden projects. Shirley received the "Molly Award" in 1982 from her peers and was honored to have her name placed in the New Jersey State Federation Honors Book by the Molly Pitcher Woman's Club in 2002, at the New Jersey State Federation of Women's Clubs at Douglass College. She received her first communion in 1969 at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Freehold while her son, Gregory, was serving in the United States Army. Shirley embraced golf, skiing, badminton, tennis, painting and all of the arts. She had a great love for animals, birds, people, and laughter. A very happy, optimistic life she lived.
Shirley was predeceased by her husband, George Hamilton Gardner, Jr. in 1999. Surviving are their son, Gregory Hamilton Gardner, Freehold Township; three nieces and nephews, Lois and Joseph Peters, Spring Hill, Florida, Gail and Joseph Bolcar, McLean, Virginia, Clare and Dr. Giannni Spera, Tucson, Arizona, several grand nieces and nephews and great grand nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to the Molly Pitcher Woman's Club of Freehold for their charitable works in the community, state and other areas of the United States and abroad. Checks can be sent to MPWC of Freehold, 670 West Main Street, Freehold, NJ 07728. Visitation will be held at the Higgins Memorial Home, 20 Center Street, Freehold on Saturday, April 12 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Higgins Memorial Home
20 Center Street Freehold, NJ 07728
Published in Asbury Park Press on Apr. 11, 2014