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Memorial Park Funeral Home & Cemetery

13313 North Kelley, Oklahoma City, OK

OBITUARY

Pastor Karen M. Gardner

June 17, 1945December 18, 2019
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Reverend Karen Marie “PK” Gardner, 74, went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on December 18th 2019. Karen passed peacefully in her Edmond, OK home surrounded by family.

Karen was born in Coldwater Michigan, June 17th 1945, to Karl and Blanche Gunnette. She was raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan and was the sassy younger sister to Karlene and Kathleen. Karen graduated college at Western Michigan University. Following her time there she went on a great adventure to Vietnam and Malaysia as a missionary and teacher. After her return to America, she continued her education in seminary school with the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Karen was a team minister with her husband Stan in Richland, Washington at Good Shepard Lutheran Church, until his death in 1987. Following the loss of her husband, Karen continued her ministry with Good Shepard until her retirement in 2003. Karen touched many lives through her ministry and friendships.

Karen enjoyed spending time spoiling her four grandchildren and traveling as much as possible. She even went crazy and moved to Edmond, Oklahoma to “enjoy” her retirement.

Karen was preceded in death by her husband Reverend H. Stan Gardner. They shared 12 wonderful years of marriage together. She is survived by her son Joshua Gardner, his wife Amy and their sons Bryce and Elliot of Las Vegas, NV. Her son Jason Gardner, his wife Stephanie and their children Vaughn and Julia of Lawton, OK. Her sisters Karlene Peterson of McMinville, Oregon and Kathleen (Richard) Robison of Sacramento, California and many Nieces, Nephews and cousins.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that you make a donation to any foundation in support of Pancreatic Cancer Research.

  • PALLBEARERS

  • Josh Gardner
  • Jason Gardner
  • Amy Gardner
  • Jeff Peterson
  • Joel Peterson
  • Bryce Gardner, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Vaughn Gardner, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Elliot Gardner, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Julia Gardner, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Stephanie Gardner, Honorary Pallbearer

Services

  • Visitation Sunday, December 22, 2019
  • Funeral Service Monday, December 23, 2019

Memories

Pastor Karen M. Gardner

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Yvette Broocks

January 6, 2020

I met Karen on a plane ride to Nashville in April of 2017. We were seated next to each other and it became evident to both of us that God had something to do with the seating chart that day! We struck up a conversation that lasted the entire flight and as we exchanged emails and hugged goodbye at the end of the flight, we both knew that it had been a Divine Appointment. Karen and I decided to become “Spiritual Pen Pals” and over the course of the next 2 1/2 years we would email regularly and share what God was doing in our lives and what He was teaching us.

I had just helped to start a ministry to younger women in my church, and God knew I needed an older, wiser friend to teach me as well so He brought Karen. Her insights, as she shared her faith and evidences of God’s involvement in every area of daily life in her emails to me, were invaluable - A real gift from God! As she reflected on our “chance” meeting she wrote :“As we move toward the end of time it is my belief that such "accidents" will occur more and more frequently as time grows short. Those who believe will find each other and be able to offer hope and encouragement to stand firm upon the True Word!!! We of the Faith are not alone.....ever!!!!”

Karen would always sign her emails to me with “ Ever in His Grip.” What a blessing to have known someone like her, even for just a few years, who took the time to share her heart and life and faith with me. A delightful soul who, when prompted by God, would ask “Why Not?” as she sought to follow His direction in her life at every stage of her life. I always printed out her emails knowing that I would read them over and over again.
So from Karen’s own words to me, I’ll share her hope-“I can only wonder what all the Lord will show me. In all.....the joys and the heartaches.....He reigns! He is forever faithful and loving and watches over us all to tend to our needs. How blessed we are.....always!”

Eric Nemeth

January 5, 2020

PK was a delightful person. A great pastor. She blessed our home and our lives. Will always remember her for her love of Christ and her congregation.

Debra Nemeth

January 4, 2020

Probably the most beautiful woman I have ever known in my life. She talked with me so honestly, so are, so real. During her time at Good Shepherd, it was the very first time I ever saw a female pastor---she was ALWAYS excited about Christ. This special woman made such an impact in my life. A special confidante. No doubt she is with the Lord. Bless you PK., and may God cover your children, your family especially during this time. You are much loved.

Norene Erlandson

January 1, 2020

I will always remember Pastor Karen’s joyous smile and laughter. Her positive energy for life in Christ was infectious and no matter what situation I took to her for guidance and help, I always came away smiling, peaceful and grateful. She knew exactly what to say, when to say it and how. I learned to be a better person, a stronger Christian hungry to learn more from the Bible and PK. She touched me deeply in my heart and I strive everyday to continue learning and living through Jesus Christ because of her influence.
Joshua and Jason and all of Your families, I send love, hugs and prayers.

Kelly Westlund

December 31, 2019

I'm so very grateful to have had the opportunity to know and love Pastor Karen. We had many meaningful conversations and I reread emails from her quite often. She encouraged me so many times and helped me grow in my walk with Christ. She was a mentor, pastor and dear friend for many years, and I miss her smile and her laugh and the way she would look deep into my eyes and know how I was really doing. I miss her hugs and the way she called me "Princess" to remind me that I am a beloved child of God. She was and continues to be a blessing in my life and I thank God for her.

This photo is from 2011. I love that smile!

Jenny Page

December 28, 2019

Karen was such a wise woman, and she simply radiated the joy of the Lord. There was a peace that would envelope a situation as soon as she was present in the room. I will miss her dearly.

Heide Gehri

December 21, 2019

When Karen first arrived with Pastor Stan to the Tri-Cities I got to know her as a Mentor. Like myself she was lefthanded and stood outside the box. As I grew into adulthood we became more like friends and sort of the sister I never had. I could tell her anything and she would either laugh or scold me. We teased each other relentlessly, and when I needed her, she was there.
I Praise the Lord for Karen, she has Blessed many and leaves with us Huge footprints and a Larger than life Legacy.

P Spradlin

December 21, 2019

Amy Gardner

December 21, 2019

Amy Gardner

December 21, 2019

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