The Fortin Group


Hilda Gardner

May 3, 1926September 26, 2020

Hilda D. Gardner (Auburn, Caribou) Hilda D. Gardner passed away at Androscoggin Hospice House in Auburn on Saturday, September 26, 2020. She was born on May 3, 1926 in Cyr Plantation, Maine, daughter of Omer and Marguerite (King) Dumont. She attended local schools and graduated from Madawaska Training School in Fort Kent in 1946, summa cum laude and was the class Salutatorian. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from University of Maine Fort Kent in 1964 and was a member of the alumni. Hilda was married to Ray F. Gardner in 1950 and resided in Caribou where they raised their family. She relocated to Auburn after Ray’s passing in 1990 and was a member of Sacred Heart Church in Auburn. Over her 30 years in education, Hilda taught at area schools in Northern Aroostook County teaching primary grades and reading. Her last job was for the State Department of Education as a Remedial Reading Teacher at the Connor and Sinclair schools. In her retirement, Hilda also volunteered to teach adults how to read for Caribou Adult Education. Hilda’s love for learning and reading started at an early age when she met the teacher from the one-room schoolhouse down the dirt farm road. She was in awe of her and begged to go to school before she was old enough, to which the teacher allowed her. Later she found a way to go to college to become a teacher, the first in her family in those hard times. Many times, her older sisters sent her some of the few dollars they earned to help her pay for college. Words, reading, and learning were her passions in life and she was great at it. One of her adult students told a friend who was struggling to learn how to read, “Go to Mrs. Gardner, she’ll teach you,” and she did. Hilda spent her final 5 years at The Chapman House in Auburn, where she made many friends with staff and residents. She enjoyed her weekly games of scrabble with Anne, doing her crossword puzzles, and short walks in the courtyard. She called it home.

She is survived by a son, Jeff and wife Erika of Germany and Cumberland, Maine; three daughters: Raelene and husband Bill Bartholomew of Portland, Sue and husband Dr. Allan Ingraham of Auburn, and Margo Weeks of New Hampshire; her grandson Nathaniel of New Hampshire and her granddaughter Kendall and husband Kevin Burns of Limington, Maine; a sister, Pauline Daigle of New Hampshire; 3 brothers, Lorn Dumont of Falls Church, VA, Wil (Yolande) Dumont of Naples, FL, and Raymond (Jeanine) of Windsor, CT; sister-in-law Edwina Dumont; and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband, Ray F. Gardner; sisters Jeanette (Frank), Lillian (Raymond), Gertrude (Maurice), and Gerry (Bill, Jim); brothers Pete (Iris), Armand, Gerard (Carole), and Claude; sister-in-law Leola Dumont and brother-in-law Reed Daigle. Condolences can be expressed with donations to The American Heart Association, The National Kidney Foundation, or Hope Haven in Lewiston, Maine. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Sacred Heart Church Auburn on Friday Oct 2 at 11 am for immediate family only, due to COVID guidelines. A Celebration of Life will be held at a future date when restrictions are lifted. Burial will be in The Northern Maine Veterans’ Cemetery in Caribou at a later date.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Hilda Gardner

have a memory or condolence to add?

Dan Dostie

October 2, 2020

Rael, Jeff, Sue, and Margo

My sincerest condolences to all of you for the loss of your 'Mum'.
She will be missed by Many. Early in my life she took care of me when my mother was extremely sick. My dad later told me that she almost died. So, thanks for her watching over me as she has watched over so many for so long. Now she is in eternal peace.

You are all in my daily thoughts and prayers.

Dan Dostie
Tomball, TX.

Jane Savage Umphrey

October 1, 2020

Raelene, Jeff, Sue and Margo,
So sorry to hear of your mom's passing. What great memories I have of my childhood having spent a great deal of time at your house. Making Peanut Brittle, shelling peas in the backyard and playing in the "Playhouse" just to mention a few.
Your mom had such a kind way about her whether you were getting disciplined or praised - she was special !! You were all so lucky to have her in your lives for so long.

Rinette Parece

September 30, 2020

Hilda and I met at MTS, where we grew up rapidly due to a shortage of teachers due to WW2 and were placed in teaching positions at a young age.
Later in life, I would visit her in Auburn where we reminisced
and enjoyed crossword puzzles.

Condolences to all from
Rinette Pelletier from St. Francis, Me.

Jane Plourde

September 30, 2020

To the Entire Gardner Family we extend our Deepest Sympathy.

Mrs. Gardner was always so lovely to me. I think she was happy that Margo and I were such great friends. Whenever I saw Mrs. Gardner, she would look at me with a smile and a twinkle in her eye. I always felt she was thinking I was up to no good. She was a very astute woman.
I must say playing scrabble with Mrs. Gardner was an experience and one I will never forget. She was a gem.
I so appreciated the notes she sent me over these last few years. She will be missed.
We wish you love, peace and comfort,
Jane Plourde & Bill Turner

Ellen Cleaves

September 30, 2020

Dear Raelene, Sue, Jeff, Margo
Your mother is a delightful memory for my own children and for me.
From growing up in that Katahdin Street neighborhood to teaching in Connor with her and to raising my own children back in that same was always their wish to visit Mrs. Gardner on their way to play on the 'big hill" behind your family home. My condolences at your loss. And in my book of memories she remains one of the best.

Jim Savage

September 30, 2020

Dear Margo, Rael, Jeff and Sue,

My deepest condolences on the loss of your Mom. So many memories. Great obituary. I remember when she was leaving Caribou and was concerned that she wouldn't have her crossword from the Bangor Daily! What else can I say...the end of an era.

Larry Dumont

September 29, 2020

In growing up, we would visit Ray and Hilda and the cousins in Caribou during our summer vacation visit to Maine. We did this predominantly every year for YEARS on end. We would spend quality time with the family at the house and their camp on the lake. Wonderful times. Wonderful memories.

Love ya and sorry and I cannot be there with the family during this time of need and healing .

Larry Dumont
Huntsville, AL


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