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Marguerite S. Gardner

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Marguerite S. Gardner Obituary
Marguerite S. Gardner, Long-time Bryn Mawr resident Marguerite Gardner (nee Syrek) passed away on June 13, 2014 at Bryn Mawr Hospital. She was surrounded by her family throughout her five-week hospitalization. She will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her. From 1964 through 1986, Mrs. Gardner served as Director of Volunteers for The Bryn Mawr Hospital. In 1964 Bryn Mawr's volunteer program was in its infancy. Largely through Mrs. Gardner's efforts, she was able to develop the program by placing emphasis on determining and organizing the needs within various hospital departments which could benefit from volunteer assistance. Volunteer contributions to the hospital grew to over 10,000 hours monthly by the time of her retirement. Following retirement, Mrs. Gardner carried on her 21-year relationship with the hospital for an additional 10 years becoming a volunteer herself. First assigned to the Thrift Shop and later to the hospital's Gift Shop as buyer, Mrs. Gardner was able to continue to serve the hospital community that she had grown to consider a second family. Mrs. Gardner was a native of western Pennsylvania growing up in Washington, Pa. and was educated at the Washington Seminary for Girls in Washington. She was the fourth of Ann and John Syrek's nine children. Marguerite was well known in and around the Pittsburgh area for her talent as a singer, dancer and model. She hosted her own radio program on station WMBO at age 13. Known as "the little girl with the big voice", herSunday morning program of singing and tap dancing was enjoyed for several years. Marguerite had dreamed of a career on Broadway but as one of the eldest in a large family where everyone contributed, a dependable paycheck took priority. She began her business career as a Classification and Wage Analyst for the U.S. Civil Service. In this capacity she was transferred to various Army hospitals in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Virginia as part of the Classification Survey Team. It was during a Virginia assignment that she met her husband Jack, a Naval Reserve officer with distinguished World War II service whose civilian profession was landscape architecture. After marriage they returned to Haverford, the hometown of her husband, and then to Bryn Mawr where they raised four children. Refusing to deny her love of the stage, Marguerite was a member of the Conestoga Singers, and performed, choreographed, and designed costumes for theater productions of the Rosemont Rollicks, St. Thomas Players and Villanova University. She loved to garden, particularly the cultivation of hybrid hemerocallis, and was a member of the Delaware Valley Daylily Society. Mrs. Gardner had a deep Catholic faith and an unwavering devotion to the Blessed Mother. In 1964 she and her family were among the first parishioners of newly established St. John Neumann Catholic Church. Mrs. Gardner was preceded in death by her husband of 51 years, John G. Gardner II, and sons John G. III and David E. Gardner. She is survived by her daughter Pamela G. Deas (Thomas C.) of Haverford and son Mark N. Gardner of Cincinnati, Ohio. She delighted in her eight grandchildren, Whitney and John Deas, Karla, Brianna, John, Keely, Parker, and Weston Gardner. Marguerite cherished her two remaining siblings, Richard Syrek of Chester Springs and Terrance Syrek, Washington, Pennsylvania as well as her many nieces and nephews. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. John Neumann Church, 380 Highland Lane, Bryn Mawr on Fri. June 20th, 10:30 AM. The family will receive guests after 9:30 AM in the Life Center at the Church. Interment will follow at SS. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Springfield. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Marguerite's memory may be made to either Little Sisters of the Poor (www.littlesistersofthepoor.org) or to The Bryn Mawr Hospital Foundation, 130 S. Bryn Mawr Avenue, Bryn Mawr, Pa 19010. Funeral arrangements by Chadwick and McKinney, Ardmore, Pa. www.chadwickmckinney.com
Published in Main Line Media News on June 21, 2014
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