Lorraine (Lorrie) Jean Gardner

Date of Birth

February 27, 1928

Date of Death

April 17, 2021

Lorraine (Lorrie) Jean Gardner passed away on Saturday April 17, 2021. She was married to James R. Gardner (Dick) for 68 years, until his passing in 2016.

Lorrie was born in Glendale, CA on Feb 27, 1928. She met Dick on a blind date and they were married on June 18, 1948. After moving to Santa Barbara and living in their first home on the mesa for several years, they drove by a house in Hope Ranch Annex one Sunday afternoon. Lorrie said, “That’s a house I could live in for the rest of my life.” And she did for 61 years. She and Dick were a good team and were constantly making improvements inside the house and in the yard as well. Her front flower bed has been enjoyed by everyone who passes by, either walking, biking, or driving. She was maintaining it and still planting new flowers up until a month before she died.

Lorrie’s passions were gardening, flower arranging, cooking, and combining it all and having her family and friends over for a wonderful meal under the oak tree in the backyard. She took such pleasure in meticulously planning the meal and arranging the tables with a beautiful flower arrangement at each one. She was a wonderful hostess and was always delighted when guests stayed longer than she anticipated. She wanted everyone to enjoy their time in her home. Whenever family came over she always had a huge spread of food out as well as wonderful homemade cakes or pies in the freezer which she brought out and we ate under the oak tree.

Lorrie was also an accomplished soloist in her earlier years and performed in many operas (Madame Butterfly, Amahl and the Night Visitors, The Ballad of Baby Doe, Handel’s “Semele,” and Mozart’s “Cosi Fan Tutte,”). She performed in numerous recitals, and was a soloist with the Santa Barbara Symphony in Handel’s “Messiah” and Verdi’s “Requiem”.

Lorrie gave generously of her free time with her many talents. She was a member of the Santa Barbara Music Club, The First Methodist Church, P.E.O, tended the rose garden at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital’s “The Little Cottage” for many years and volunteered for Meals on Wheels.

Lorrie is survived by her 3 children and their spouses. John and Barbara Gardner of Atascadero, Ellen and Don Kenoss of Santa Barbara and Ken and Sandy Gardner of Lancaster. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Carly, Christa, Holly, Timothy, Sean, and Andrew, and five great grandchildren, McKenzie, David, Ben, Massimo, James and Kennedy.

The family will hold a “Celebration of Life” on Sept. 4th. For more information email: ellenkenoss@gmail.com. Organizations that Lorrie supported include: P.E.O.,The Santa Barbara Foundation, Santa Barbara Food Bank, Wounded Warrior Foundation, Transition House, The National Parks Foundation, and Heifer International.


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