HANOVER Priscilla Dodge Gardner was born February 24, 1923, and de parted peacefully from this world on Thursday, September 27, 2007. Her smile was as contagious as her positive outlook to every adventure life handed her. Those of us privileged to know this wonderful woman knew an inspirational, strong, and loving person. Priscilla grew up in BenAvon, Pa., always involved with school activities at Avonworth High, graduating in 1941. She continued her education at Carnegie-Mellon, graduating with a degree in Theater Arts in 1945. Pris' accomplishments throughout her life were many: WWII USO actress; performing offBroadway in the late 1940's; Director of trade shows for Gardner Associates in Pittsburgh; Artist Director of "Behold the Man", the first passion play featuring an all black cast staged in Atlanta, Ga., and Cincinnati, Ohio, during the turbulent 1960's; actress for Totem Pole Playhouse; Director for Littlestown School District's High School Musicals; and Founder and Artistic Director of the Bedford County Players at Gardner Memorial Theatre in Bedford. Pris ended her theatrical career in 1987 to concentrate on her fight against Parkinson's disease, a battle she waged for over 30 years. She was the loving and dedicated wife to Harry B. Gardner, Jr., who passed from this world in October 21, 1985. She was a wonderful mother and grandmother to daughter, Darlene Thomas and husband, M. Ted Thomas of Mechanicsburg, daughter, Heidi Little and husband, David Little of Hanover, and son, Timothy Gardner and wife, Mary Gardner of Deptford, N.J., and six grandchildren, Kayte Thomas, Ian Thomas, Brandon Thomas, Meghan Little, Thomas Gardner, and Allison Gardner. In lieu of flowers, Pris had requested donations for Parkinson's Research. Donations may be made to Johns Hopkins, Parkinson's Disease Research Center of Excellence, 600 N. Wolfe St., Carnegie 214, Baltimore, MD 21287; or a donation may be made to the Homewood at Plum Creek's Benevolent Fund, Homewood at Plum Creek, Hanover. There will be a loving memorial service for Priscilla on Saturday, October 20, 2007, at 11:30 a.m. at Homewood at Plum Creek, 425 Westminster Ave., Hanover. Arrangements are by Auer Memorial Home and Cremation Services, Inc., Harrisburg.
Published in Evening Sun from Sep. 30 to Oct. 1, 2007.