Christine Auten Gardner

January 14, 1965November 8, 2022
Obituary of Christine Auten Gardner
Christine Gardner (nee Auten), 57, of Columbus, Ohio, passed away peacefully in the early morning of November 8, 2022 at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. Chris was born in Orrville, Ohio on January 14, 1965, the youngest child of Robert and Elgie Auten (nee Horst). Chris was preceded in death by her father, Robert Auten, and sisters Carol Brillhart (nee Auten) and Kathy Lambert (nee Auten). She is survived by her loving husband of 18 years, Glen Gardner, her adoring daughter, Kelsey Kerstetter, and son-in-law Nathan Yahner. Grandchildren: Penelope and Waverly Yahner. Mother: Elgie (Dick) Auten-Forney. Siblings: Bob (Linda) Auten and brother-in-law Ron (Connie) Brillhart. Nieces and nephews: Beau (Kerry) Brillhart, Whitney (Michael) O’Donnell, Dane (Jen) Brillhart, Taylor Auten, Jennifer Nettles (nee Davisson), and Elizabeth “Liz” Davisson. Great-nieces and nephews: Regan, Beau, Emmett, Kevin, Molly, Charli, Lindsay, Whitney, and Jonathan. Favorite pet/companion: Lucy (dachshund). Chris had a passion for education. She was a proud graduate of The Ohio State University where she earned her Journalism degree. She earned her MBA from Franklin University. For the past 16 years, she served as the Executive Director of the Ohio Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE). She was their leader and advocate. She was also a part-time college instructor for over 10 years. She taught writing, marketing, and public relations. She was named the 2010 Faculty of the Year at the University of Phoenix’s Columbus campus. She will be greatly missed by her students, colleagues, and the entire career-tech community. Everyone who knew Chris knew she lived her life to the fullest. Glen helped her achieve her dreams of travelling the world and building her beloved get-a-away cabin in Loudonville, Ohio. They became self-proclaimed “Tiny Cabin Moguls” when they built a cabin rental on their property. Chris managed the reservations and ensured a delightful “tiny cabin experience” was had by all guests. Chris loved making memories with Glen, her family, and friends. She and Glen travelled to all parts of the world: Zambia, Tahiti, New Zealand, France, Malaysia, and Fiji to name a few. She enjoyed time with her girlfriends: movie club and annual trips to Florida. She loved spending Saturday mornings in Orrville visiting with her mother, Elgie. They’d drink coffee, do puzzles, and play cards. And most importantly, she loved being a grandmother. To her family, Chris was proudly known as "Mama Tis", short for Grandma Chris. Taken too soon from her family and friends, Chris inspired many to learn, travel, smile, share kindness and love. Chris had very specific wishes for her memorial. Her family invites those who knew her to celebrate her life by donating to a cause she believed in: Cancer Research: Dachshund rescue: Ohio ACTE Christine Gardner Scholarship Fund: For information contact Drake & Son Funeral Home, 773-561-6874 or

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