Carol Elizabeth Martin Gardner went to be with her Heavenly Father on Tuesday, August 3, 2010.
Carol was born in Port Angeles, WA on July 28, 1935, and moved with her family to Portland, OR when she was five months old. She attended Beaumont Grade School and graduated from Grant High School in 1953. Carol went to Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA where she majored in music with an emphasis in voice. It was at Westmont that she met her future husband Richard Gardner. She graduated in 1957 and they were married in 1958.
While Richard attended Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX, Carol taught junior high choral music. She also sang with the Houston Chorale and had many wonderful opportunities there including singing under the direction of Leopold Stokowski and serving as a soprano soloist under the direction of Sir Thomas Beecham.
Richard went into active duty in the army and Carol was always involved in singing and conducting choirs wherever they lived. At Fort Lewis, WA, she starred in two operas by Gian Carlo Menotti, playing the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors and the Old Maid in The Old Maid and the Thief.
In 1973 the family, which now included three sons, moved to Bellingham, WA. Carol sang with the Whatcom Chorale from 1973-1983 and was a frequent soloist with that group. She also conducted the choir at Geneva Community Church for 13 years. Carol and Richard have been members there since 1973 and continued through its transition into Northlake Community Church. They have both been involved with The Firs and served on the Firs Council.
Carol was not always very active because of physical limitations stemming from a car accident in her college years, but felt her calling was to a ministry of prayer. Her family fondly remembers her often sitting in her “prayer chair,” looking out at the lake as she interceded in prayer for her family, missionaries around the world, and many other people.
Carol loved flowers and planting pots around the house. Her greatest joy was raising her three sons. Adding to that joy were her four granddaughters of Winfield, KS, and her grandson, Max, who lives in Bellingham, which has been a real blessing. Carol and Richard were married for 52 years and they were truly blessed friends with a deep and loving relationship.
Carol is survived by her three sons: David and wife Cheryl, Jonathan, Steven and wife Chantel, and five grandchildren: Carol, Katherine, Annelise, Sarah, and Max.
Memorial gifts may be made to the Firs Camperships or Missions at Northlake Church in Bellingham.