August 2, 1930 – November 4, 2021
Norma Jean Gardiner was born in Ladysmith on August 2nd, 1930, to Clifford and Hope Harris. She had a happy childhood enjoying family times and spoke fondly of camping trips, picnics, and time spent at Camp Imadene. Her family attended Roberts St. Chapel in Ladysmith and at a young age mom chose to become a faithful follower of Jesus, a decision that never wavered throughout her life.
Mom took violin and piano lessons and played both instruments throughout her life. Music was very important to her and she was well known in her youth for her performances in the Music Festivals.
After completing High School she moved to Victoria and took her nurses training at Royal Jubilee hospital, graduating as an RN.
Following her graduation she married Ken Dick and they moved to Vancouver so he could complete his medical training at UBC while she nursed at St. Paul’s hospital and Grace hospital.
They moved back to Victoria where Ken began his medical career. During this time they began to make plans to go to Nigeria as medical missionaries, which they did in 1961, settling in the village of Iyale with their four children. Mom taught her children using BC Correspondence courses and found that she loved teaching.
When Ken died in a car accident mom returned to Canada with her family that had grown to 7 children, and settled in Lantzville. The children loved living near the beach and spent a lot of time on the water in the aluminum boats they had. Mom had an impressive vegetable garden and loved her flowers and fruit trees as well.
The family attended Wakesiah Gospel Chapel where mom was very involved in music and taught Sunday School for many years.
She joined the Nanaimo Symphony and would practice for hours, enjoying the challenge of mastering the music.
She returned to nursing in 1986 and worked in the Discharge Planning Unit at Nanaimo General Hospital. Following her retirement she did Foot Care in the community, and taught piano and violin, finally fully retiring in her late 70’s.
Mom was a widow for nearly 40 years, but she fell in love again and a few weeks before her 80th birthday she married Fred Gardiner and they enjoyed a few cruises and trips before poor health interfered. Our family is very grateful for the gracious care Fred showed to mom especially when mom’s memory began to fail in the last few years.
Mom passed away in hospital, in her sleep, in the early morning of November 4th. She is with the Lord.
She is predeceased by her parents, her brother Sheldon, her first husband Ken, and her grandson Benjamin Dick.
She leaves to mourn her passing and rejoice in her life, her husband Fred, her children, Laurel (Tom Bohart), David (Donna), Kevan (Cherilee), Brenton (Margaret), Paul (Naomi), Trevor (Le- anne) and Nathan (Michelle), as well as 33 grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.
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