Kathleen Marie Gardner


Rochester NY:  October 14, 1948 ­– May 9, 2016.  Kathy, her own free spirit, was loved deeply by her daughter Jennifer and son-in-law William Young; grandsons Henri, Regan, and Liam; mother Josephine Gardner; siblings Margaret Dion, Patricia Gardner, Mary & Chrys Reinhardt; Aunt Mar (Hackett); cousins, nieces and nephews; and many dear and fine friends — too many to name, you know who you are. She was predeceased by her husband, the love of her life, Terry Blackenburg.

A child of the 60’s, she sought feminist independence and lived true to her spirit, while also being a single parent and a provider. She was a creative force in words and crafts, she had a love of dance and softball and live music and sailing and anything that spelled fun. She surrounded herself with deep thinkers and adventure seekers. She was a student of the world, well read in all things, especially archeology and anthropology. She loved nature and camping and counted feathers, shells, leaves, and rocks as part of her collection. She read voraciously and was an avid crossword enthusiast, that is, when she wasn’t watching old black and white movies. She loved her smart phone to stay in touch and ‘like’ her family on Instagram and Facebook, and to learn… always learning. It didn’t matter whether it was dinner conversation or watching a show, if something was unclear or in debate, she’d say, “Let’s look it up.” And she would. We’re all smarter for it.

She was silly and intense. Loving and private. And far too young to say goodbye.  We will miss her smile, her sense of humor, her contagious laugh, and the sound of her voice forever.

She loved her family fiercely and was deeply loyal. And when she had nothing, she had generosity of heart and spirit and always found a way to give. She adored her ‘retirement job’ and her coworkers at the Greece Central School District’s Transportation Department, where she helped kids with challenges enjoy the ride. Indeed, she helped us all enjoy the ‘ride’ a little bit more.

A mighty tree will be planted in Durand–Eastman for all to visit. A celebration of her life will take place later this year.

Please consider a gift in her memory to the American Lung Association: http://action.lung.org/goto/KathysPage

1 Comment

  1. cyndi mayhew on July 14, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    Kathy was my cousin, had always wished we would meet someday as I had not seen her since I was 12 yrs, she was 11. I just found out from my sister, Tracy that she has left the earthly world…Perhaps we will meet one day still. I am happy she has left such a great legacy. My thoughts to all of her children and grandchildren. Cyndi Mayhew…..mother is Carol Kyle, Kathys Dads sister.

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