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Asheville - Burney Hay Gardner, 88, of Asheville passed away on December 2, 2013 at the John F. Keever, Jr. Solace Center. Born in 1925 in Covington, GA, she was daughter of the late Samuel Burney Hay, Sr. and Frances Dearing Hay. She was the oldest of three children. She was also preceded in death by her husband, Alvin Allen Gardner, Jr. and her son, Alvin "Al" Allen Gardner, III.
Burney graduated from Auburn High School in 1943, attended Mary Baldwin College from 1943 to 1944 and graduated from Auburn Polytechnic Institute (Auburn University) in 1946. She married Alvin Allen Gardner, Jr. of Montgomery, AL in 1947. They attended Columbia Theological Seminary together from 1947-1950 where Burney received a Master of Arts degree in Christian Education. Allen served as Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, GA, the First Presbyterian Church of Thomasville, GA and in 1960, they moved to Asheville, NC where Allen served as Pastor of the First Presbyterian until his death in 1984. Burney worked tirelessly as a Pastor's wife in the church as well as the community. She has remained an active member of First Presbyterian Church where she served as an Elder, taught Sunday School and was a life long member of Presbyterian Women. Burney began a twenty-one year career, in 1969, as an adult education teacher for Manpower Development which later became Asheville Buncombe Tech Adult Education Program. She retired from AB Tech in 1990. Following her retirement from AB Tech, Burney traveled extensively throughout the world with the Friendship Force. She was also very active in the Asheville Chapter of the P.E.O. Sisterhood. In 2006, she moved from her home of 46 years on Sunset Parkway to Givens Estates.
Burney Hay Gardner was a beloved friend, daughter, sister, mother, aunt, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She loved her family, the church, reading, knitting, and tennis. She was an expert on fashion and etiquette and knew the Bible from the beginning to the end.
She is survived by three children, Katherine Dearing Gardner of Ashland, VA, Burney "Bea" Gardner Mattice of Arden and Samuel Hay Gardner of Athens, WV; sister, Martha Hay Vardeman of Atlanta, GA; brother, Samuel Burney Hay, Jr. of Covington, GA; eleven grandchildren: Tiffany Mattice Kinnaird of Asheville, NC, Chris Mattice Moss of Arden, NC, Kate Gaddy Leffler of Richmond, VA, Stephen Gardner Mattice of Montpelier, VA, Allen Gardner Gaddy of Bowdoinham, ME, Amanda Winfree Gardner of Richmond, VA, Emma Hay Gardner of Athens, WV, Burney Starke Gardner of Blacksburg, VA, Robert Allen Gardner of Athens, WV, Elizabeth Burney Gardner of Athens, WV and Samuel Dearing Gaddy of Ashland, VA: six great-grandchildren: John Harding Kinnaird, IV, Shelby Frances Kinnaird, Riley Dearing Moss, Allen Grace Leffler, Gardner Grant Moss, and Libbie Creagan Leffler.
A memorial service will be held 3:00 PM, Saturday, December 7, 2013 at the First Presbyterian Church of Asheville. The family will receive friends immediately following the service in the Wallace Foyer.
Memorials may be made to the Memorial Fund or the Capital Campaign Fund at First Presbyterian Church, 40 Church St, Asheville, NC 28801; the Givens Resident Assistance Fund, 2360 Sweeten Creek Rd, Asheville, NC 28803, or to The John F. Keever Solace Center in Asheville, NC, 21 Belvedere Rd., Asheville, NC 28803.
Morris Funeral Home, 304 Merrimon Avenue is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent through the website www.morrisfamilyfuneralhome.com.
Morris Funeral Home
304 Merrimon Avenue Asheville, NC 28801
Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on Dec. 6, 2013