Mary Ellen McKay Gardner, 92, of Winchester, Virginia, passed away Sunday, June 3, 2012, at her home with her loving family at her side.
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She was born and raised at Wren's Nest, Nineveh, Virginia, to Hubert Francis McKay and Bessie L. McKay on March 14, 1920. She was of Presbyterian faith and was a long-time member of the Nineveh Presbyterian Church and the First Presbyterian Church in Winchester.
Mary Ellen was a graduate of Warren County High School and went on to attend the Winchester Memorial Hospital School of Nursing where she earned her R.N. degree. Soon after, she joined the U.S. Army, where she served as chief operating nurse in Korea during World War II and was discharged from service as a first lieutenant in 1946. After the war, she returned to Virginia and married the late Ray F. Gardner and nursed for many years at the Warren Memorial Hospital in Front Royal, Virginia, and later at the Winchester Medical Center. She loved the nursing profession with all her heart and wore her white nursing uniform and cap proudly for some fifty years. Beyond being a talented nurse, she was a gifted seamstress. She could look at a garment and make it without a pattern. Just as her family and friends recognized her specialness, so too did all who met her.
She is survived by her daughters, Phyllis Ray Gardner, Sue Ellen G. Bogle, Mary Jane Gardner, and Sarah G. McCarty and husband Charles (Bucky) McCarty, Jr.; a granddaughter, Carmel Dee Bogle; and nieces and nephews.
She is predeceased by her three sisters, Lillian McKay Dudeck, Mildred McKay Stribling, and Bettie McKay Turner and by two very close friends, Midge DeLuca and Bernie Blosser.
The family wishes to thank Deborah Eads and family for their loving care.
A private service will be held at Mount Hebron Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Blue Ridge Hospice, 333 West Cork Street, Winchester, Virginia 22601 or Ministering Angels, P.O. Box 854, Berryville, Virginia 22611.
Funeral arrangements are being made by Jones Funeral Home and online condolences may be left at www.jonesfuneralhomes.com
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Published in Northern Virginia Daily from June 4 to June 5, 2012