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Nancy J. (Studer) Gardner

Sep 15, 2020

Funeral service for Nancy J. (Studer) Gardner was held Thursday, Sept. 10, at the Martin-Mattice Funeral Home in Emmetsburg. Curtis Adams officiated at the service.

Interment was in Evergreen Cemetery in Emmetsburg. The Martin-Mattice Funeral Home in Emmetsburg was in charge of arrangements.

It is with great sadness that we announce our beloved mother Nancy Gardner, 70, of Coolidge, AZ, passed away of natural causes Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020 in Queen Creek, AZ.

Nancy Jean Gardner (Studer) was born June 14, 1950, in Emmetsburg to George and Donna Studer. The oldest of four children, she was the first in her family to attend college. She graduated from Central Christian College in Kansas, Greenville College in Illinois, and later earned her Master of Education from the University of Phoenix in Arizona. She married her husband of 39 years in 1981. They moved to Arizona in 1993, where they began a teaching career for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Nancy was a life-long educator as well as a self-described child evangelist. She could be found in the summers running Girl Scout and Christian camps, telling Bible stories barefoot, and inviting church groups over to her home to swim. She held various occupations in paid and volunteer fashion and in no particular order: baker, cooking instructor, lifeguard, swim-instructor, counselor, ministerial candidate, missionary, Special-Needs educator, English as a Second Language teacher, and mother.

She devoted herself to the Lord at an early age and made her faith the defining characteristic of her life. She was a life-long member of the Free-Methodist Church, eventually serving as a Licensed Ministerial Candidate. While in retirement from teaching, she began missionary work abroad, taking multiple trips to China as an ESL teacher. Nancy was an avowed teetotaler and non-smoker.

She is survived by her husband Michael; her sons: James (Beth), Luke, and Daniel (Jialu); her daughter Sarah; her six grandchildren: Sebastian, Hezekiah, Noah, Christian, Alisa, and Gabriel; her brother Ritch (Coni); her sisters: Barbara and Rebecca (Tony) and many nieces and nephews.

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