Josephine Gardner

Josephine Sperry Gardner

Josephine Sperry Gardner, age 88, of Fairfield CT and Alford, Mass. died on Feb. 15, 2013 after a brief illness. Born in Bridgeport, she was the daughter of Ralph Milo Sperry and Lizzie Birdseye Sperry, and was married to Dr. Charles W. Gardner Jr. for 65 years.

Jo, as she was called by friends, was a graduate of Skidmore College.

In her younger years she was an avid horsewoman and sailor. Over the decades she was active in the Junior League and House and Garden Club and was a board member of the Connecticut Audubon Society, Greenfield Hill Garden Club, The Sterling Home and Mill River Wetland Committee. She was a tennis player at the Fairfield Beach Club. Jo earned a gardening certificate at the New York Botanical Garden and wrote a gardening column for the Fairfield Citizen for many years. Jo loved gardening, travel, reading, her family and friends, dogs, the farm in Alford, and the great outdoors.

She is survived by her husband, Dr. Charles W. Gardner Jr.; five children, Dr. Charles Gardner and his wife Janice of Greenwich, Conn., Cynthia Gardner and her husband Robert Toth of Pittsfield, Mass., Jonathan Gardner and his wife Kathy of Guilford, Conn., Anne Magnavita and her husband Jeffrey of S. Glastonbury, Conn. and Sarah Gardner of Williamstown, Mass.; 23 grandchildren, one great-grandson, two nephews, Ralph and David Sperry, and a niece, Susan Sperry and two great- nephews and three great-nieces. She was predeceased by her brother, Ralph Birdseye Sperry, also of Fairfield.

Funeral services will be held at the Greenfield Hill Congregational Church, Fairfield, on Saturday, February 23 at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Berkshire Natural Resources Council, 20 Bank Row, Pittsfield, MA 01201 (413-499-0596). For information or to sign an online guest register please visit

Published in The Berkshire Eagle from Feb. 19 to Feb. 20, 2013