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Sunday February 24th, 2019
5:00pm - 6:30pm

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Holy Neck Christian Church
Monday February 25th, 2019

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Emma Harrell Gardner

Emma Claudine Harrell Gardner went to her heavenly home February 21, 2019. Emma was born January 8, 1938, the second of four daughters to the late Emmett G. and Claudine N. Harrell. She was predeceased by her loving husband Norman L. Gardner, Sr. She was also predeceased by a grandson, Nathan C. Peace.

She and Norman were married June 28, 1958. Emma graduated from Longwood University in January 1959 and came home to Suffolk to teach in the Suffolk Public School System until 1985. She began her career teaching 2nd grade and then moved to Kindergarten in 1972. She was always glad to see former students and learn of their accomplishments.

Emma and Norman loved to travel and took their children on many adventurous camping trips, including a cross country trip the summer of 1968. They continued to travel in retirement, finally completing their dream of visiting all 50 states. Emma continued to take cruises and camp with her daughter’s family after Norman’s passing.

Emma enjoyed watching sports. In her younger years, Emma could be found at her son’s high school football games, her daughter’s high school tennis matches and in recent years at little league baseball games when her great grandchildren were playing.

Emma was a lifetime member of Holy Neck Christian Church where she was active in the Women’s Fellowship, a member of the choir and taught Sunday school for many years. You could find her behind the table of the “Country Store” the second Saturday of every November when the church would hold its annual bazaar.

Emma and Norman were active members of Whaleyville #137, Order of the Eastern Star, where she was Worthy Matron 7 times. Over the years, Emma held many committee appointments of the Grand Chapter of Virginia and attended every General Grand Chapter session from 1985-2015.

Emma spent many years on the Executive Committee for the Extension Office of Virginia and their 4-H program.

Thru her years of teaching and service to the community Emma touched the lives of countless children and adults. She was loved by many and will be missed by all.

Emma is survived by her son, N. Lorain Gardner, Jr. and his wife Teresa, her daughter, Brenda G. Peace and her husband David; Grandchildren - Shirley G. Moore (Gary), Tabitha P. Sidwell (Chris), Christopher R. Gardner, and Kristi L. Peace; Great Grandchildren- Trever Gardner, Emmett Knox, Olivia Sidwell, and Tucker Sidwell and sisters, Margaret H. Cobb, Georgie H. Copeland (Jimmie), and Mamie H. Sink.

A funeral service will be held on Monday, February 25, 2019 at 2 PM in Holy Neck Christian Church, 4400 Holy Neck Road, Suffolk by Rev. Dr. Dave Meadors. Burial will be in the Norfleet’s Family Cemetery. The family will receive friends in the R.W. Baker & Co Funeral Home and Crematory on Sunday, February 24, 2019 from 4 to 5:30 PM.

The family wants to thank the caregivers with Home Instead Senior Care, at Lake Prince Wood Assisted Living & Health Center, & Compassionate Care Hospice for their care during Emma’s final years.

Instead of flowers, the family requests donations to the Nathan C. Peace Memorial Scholarship Fund c/o Holy Neck Church. Condolences may be registered at RWBakerFH.com

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Emma Gardner, please visit our flower store.


Georgia Lee, this has been a sad couple of months for you and Jimmie, both of you having lost sisters. My prayer is that you will feel Gods perfect peace surrounding you and your family. Just imagining Emma and Liza frolicking around heaven and causing trouble for everyone!

Candy Smith Young May 13 2021 12:00 AM

Emmas passing is a celebration of her life well lived. She made a difference in the Holland/Holy Neck community with her unselfish giving to others. Shell always be remembered for this. Donald and Roseland

Roseland Worry May 13 2021 12:00 AM

So very sorry for your loss. Emma was a very sweet and caring person. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Judy, Danny and Chris Dailey

Judy Dailey May 13 2021 12:00 AM

We are so sorry for the loss of Emma, a wonderful Christian. She will long be remembered for her service to her church and community. Even after our move to Florida, Emma and I conversed often by phone. She would fill me in on all the Holy Neck news. As she shared a birthday with my older son, I would call her on that day. A true worker in the church and for our Lord, Emma will really be missed, but I know she is rejoicing with the Lord in heaven. We send our thoughts and prayers to her entire family.

Johnny and Joan Fowler Minter May 13 2021 12:00 AM

We are saddened to learn of Emma's passing and we ask God's blessings on her family as they mourn her loss and celebrate her life, a life well lived; a life of service and dedication to her family, her Community and to her Church.

Oscar and Margaret Fowler May 13 2021 12:00 AM

May the Holy Spirit comfort family and friends

JESSE C.BLYTHE May 13 2021 12:00 AM

To the entire Harrell-Gardner family my thoughts and prayers are with you all. Emma was a caring and giving person who served her church, schools, and community with pride, Her parents, sisters and children have been great friends of my family my entire life. I will always remember her from church growing up, she was always there to help. God Bless You All.

Dianne Adams Brinkley May 13 2021 12:00 AM

To all Emmas family, I am so sorry to learn of Emmas loss. I have fond memories of her guidance in 4-H and having her as a role model in the church. Please know I am holding all of you close in my heart. She was truly a special lady who will be missed. Sending my deepest condolences to you all.

Kay Weaver Hurley May 13 2021 12:00 AM