Janet Ruth Thatcher Gardiner
1933 ~ 2012
Janet Ruth Thatcher Gardiner died at her home in Salt Lake City December 17, 2012 following an extended struggle with acute myeloid leukemia. Her husband and children from across the country were with her.
Janet was born in Ogden, Utah December 2, 1933, the daughter of Elizabeth Griffin and Lionel Wilmot Thatcher. She spent her early years in Wisconsin where her father earned his Phd degree and later was a Professor of Economics. Later Janet lived with her family in the Washington D. C. area where she was an outstanding student at Bethesda Chevy Chase Maryland High School and was elected secretary of her senior class. Janet attended Bryn Mawr College in Philadelphia and the University of Wisconsin
in Madison. She graduated in 1955 from the University of Utah with high honors and was a member of Phi Kappa Phi honor society. Janet affiliated with Delta Delta Delta sorority at Wisconsin and with the Tri Delt chapter at Utah where she was elected Chapter President.
While living in the Washington D. C. area Janet studied piano with Basil D. Touturiski and her musical talent has been a great blessing to her family, with each of her ten children and many grandchildren learning a musical instrument, participating in their high school orchestras and musical programs , and joining at the Gardiner home in family musical nights. One daughter following Janet's love of the piano earned a masters degree in piano performance. Janet was recognized as an outstanding accompanist. For over ten years Janet served as the ward organist in the Federal Heights Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, having extended her abilities by taking organ classes at the University of Utah when the need arose for an organist in her ward.
Janet was an excellent seamstress, who made her own wedding dress, as well as many beautiful dresses for her daughters. Each new grandchild received a hand crocheted baby blanket. Through the years daughters and daughters-in-law returned for advice on sewing projects. She was an incredible cook; her children will particularly remember the special birthday dinners.
Janet and her husband L. Raymond Gardiner, Jr. (Ray) met at the University and were joined in marriage and sealed in the Salt Lake Temple on April 11, 1955. They spent two years in Spokane, Washington where Ray served in the Air Force. Their first of ten children, a daughter, was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where Ray earned his law degree. During these times Janet served as the organist in the Spokane Second Ward and in the Ann Arbor Ward. While in Spokane Janet taught home economics and was the faculty advisor to the senior class at Mead High School.
Janet's love of learning and her academic talents have also been a great blessing to her four sons and six daughters. She personally watched over their grade school and high school education and encouraged and helped them to do their very best. All ten are college educated, some even with masters and doctors degrees. An inquisitive mind and the love of learning were hallmarks of Janet. She was an avid reader, whose interests ranged from children's literature, Agatha Christie mysteries and cookbooks to music, the classics and to chemistry texts. Even in the midst of her brave struggle with the terrible disease that eventually claimed her life, she was auditing, through the internet, classes in physics and biochemistry at Yale University
and the University of California at Berkley.
She loved Logan Canyon, especially in the Autumn season, and treasured her time at the family retreat in Fish Haven, Idaho, enjoying the beauty and cooler temperatures of Bear Lake.
Janet's quiet contributions to life and society are well summarized in this note sent to her a short while ago by a former neighbor:
"I want to thank you for being the extraordinary example of womanhood that you are. I have ever been an admirer of your musical and academic brilliance , as well as the quiet and unassuming manner with which you possess such great qualities. The method with which you employed your great gifts in your home, as a mother and homemaker, is simply laudable. I often thought how fortunate your children were to be part of the commendable group you and Ray assembled on earth to nurture and teach. One can readily see in them the great talents and traits of their wonderful mother. What an impressive group of adults you have sent out into the world from the Gardiner home, and I have no doubt that your posterity yet to come will benefit from your life's work as a mother.
The calm and acceptance with which you have always met adversity has impressed me as well. I am certain you are the one who is comforting everyone around you during this very challenging chapter of your life."
Janet is survived by her husband, Ray, and each of her ten children: Allison (Sean Bigelow) Cleveland, Ohio; John Alfred (Rebecca Soelberg) Salt Lake City; Annette (Matthew Weed) Salt Lake City; Leslie (John Crandall) Salt Lake City; Robert Thatcher (Susanne Barth) Salt Lake City; Lisa (William West) Salt Lake City; James Raymond, Salt Lake City; Elizabeth (Everett Smith) Louisville, Colorado; David William (Morgan Jones) Sacramento, California; and Sarah Janet (Thomas Boyden) Hillsborough, California, and by thirty-five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister Annette (David Jorgensen) Portola Valley, California, and her two brothers Lionel Gilbert (Sylvia Hasler) La Crosse, Wisconsin and John Griffin (Janet Solverson) San Luis Obispo, California. Preceded in death by a sister, Elizabeth.
In accordance with Janet's wishes formal funeral service will not be held. Graveside service and interment at the Salt Lake City Cemetery, twelve o'clock noon, Friday, December 21, 2012. Friends may call upon the family Thursday evening, December 20, 2012, 6 to 8 PM at Larkin Mortuary 260 East South Temple.