H. Florene Gardner

H. Florene Gardner, 88, passed away peacefully on Thursday, June 9, 2011, in Camarillo, after a brief illness.

Florene was born in Holdenville, Oklahoma, on August 23, 1922, to Homer and Opal Robb.  The family would eventually move to California and Florene would graduate from Glendale High School in 1940.


Florene married Charles N. Nickell, July 18, 1943, in Glendale, California.  Charles was in the Army Air Corps and served his country overseas as a pilot during World War II.  Together, Florene and Charles had three children, Charles, Gary and Theresa.  Charles passed away in May of 1965.


In the late 1960s Florene met Bill O. Gardner at a Crescenta Valley High School Football game.  Bill admired her that evening for sitting in rain for the entire game, watching her son, Gary, play Football.


Florene and Bill were married February 6, 1971.  The resided in LaCrescenta until the early 1980’s when, because of Bill’s employment with a hardware supplier, they moved to Vacaville.  Florene was always a supportive wife and homemaker.  While in Vacaville they adopted and raised Florene’s granddaughters, Sarah and Amber.  After raising their children, they once again became avid high school boosters and PTA members for their grandchildren.  Upon Amber’s graduation from high school, they returned to Southern California, buying a retirement home in Leisure Village in Camarillo.  They were also active in that community, jointing the RV Club and making many new friends.

Florene is survived by her granddaughters, Sarah Gardner of Gilroy and Amber Begrin (Ron) of San Angelo, Texas; her step-daughters Laurie Contreras (George) of Camarillo; Gayle Hicks (David of Santa Ana; Sister, Melba Downing of Fontana; daughters-in-law, Reet Nickell of Big Pine and Francine Nickell of San Diego; grandchildren Andrew Contreras (Jenn), Michael Contreras (Vanessa), Lyndsey Hicks (Craig), Timothy Hicks, Amy Hicks, Scott Hicks, Kristine Poole (Todd), Brenda Cardinale (Keith), Troy Nickell, Alexandra Ellis (Rick); ten great-grandchildren; one great-great grandchild and counting.


Florene was preceded in death by her first husband, Charles N. Nickell, her children Charles W. Nickell, Gary Nickell and Theresa Nickell, as well as her grandsons, Bradley Nickell and Trent Nickell.  Most recently her husband of 40 years, Bill O. Gardner, passed away in December.

The family would like to thank Buena Vista Hospice Care, Inc. and the caregivers at Mali’s Place for their compassionate care.


A Memorial Service will be held Thursday, June 16, 2011, 1:00 P.M. at the Griffin Family Funeral Chapel, 1075 E. Daily Drive, Camarillo, (805)482-1166.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Ted Mayr Funeral Home and Crematory, 3150 Loma Vista Road, Ventura. Condolences may be left at TedMayrFuneralHome.com.


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