Frances Gardner, a longtime resident of Westchester, passed away on Saturday, July 1st, after a brief illness. She was 89.

Gardner was born in Atascadaro on February 24th, 1917, but she grew up in Malibu.

She graduated from Santa Monica High School in 1935 and then earned her bachelor’s degree from Whittier College in 1939. She went on to receive a master’s degree in social work from USC in 1941.

A memorial service took place for Gardner Saturday, July 8th, at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Westchester.

She and her husband Richard “Dick” Gardner were married in Los Angeles in 1945, one day after her birthday and shortly after he completed his combat duty in the Pacific Theater during World War II as a captain in the United States Marine Corps.

In 1950, the couple settled in Westchester, started a family and became active in community affairs, most notably at the Covenant Presbyterian Church in Westchester.

After the death of Frances’s father, they moved back into the family home in Malibu in 1959.

Through their years in Malibu, Frances and Dick were active in a number of community activities, especially as members of Malibu Presbyterian Church, where he was an elder and she was part of the administrative staff of the church’s nursery school.

Avid travelers, the Gardeners visited every continent on the globe.

After losing their home in the 1994 Malibu fire, they returned to their Westchester home, which they had rented out but never sold for over 35 years.

Once again settled in Westchester, they became active in the affairs of both Covenant Presbyterian Church and the Y’s Men’s Club of the Westchester YMCA.

In addition to Richard, her husband of 61 years, she is survived by their two sons, Gary, a Presbyterian pastor in Colorado and Lee, a legal assistant in Boise, Idaho.

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