Celebrating the life of Edna Mae Gardner
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A Time to be Born, Learn, Love, Labor, Serve, Depart, and Memories:
A Time to be Born:
Jackie was born in Wildwood, Florida, to the late Rufus and Helen
Dixon on September 17, 1938.
A Time to Learn:
Jackie spent her early childhood in the Sumter County public school
system and graduated from J. R. E. Lee High School. She received
her Bachelor’s Degree in Education at Saint Leo University. Later she
received her Masters in Reading from Rollins College.
A Time to Love:
In 1958, she attended Edward Waters College where she met and married
Willie Mobley. Later in 1965, she met James Gardner, and they married
in holy matrimony in 1976 and had 44 blessed years together.
A Time to Labor:
In the 60s, Jackie worked at Leesburg General Hospital. Having a dream
of being an educator, Jackie’s first jobs were at Oak Park Elementary
and Dabney Elementary as a Teacher’s Aide. Once her dream came into
fruition, she later became an educator with the Sumter County School
Board were she taught 5th grade for 37 years.
A Time to Serve:
Jackie’s Christian journey began at Greater Piney Grove Missionary
Baptist Church. She served under several leaderships as a Deaconess and
Youth Director. Jackie was appointed Children’s Church coordinator
for Bethel Baptist Association for over 20 years; member of Sumter
County Retired Educators. She moved her membership to St. James
Baptist Church under the leadership of Reverend Alandus Sims. She
later returned back to Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church, serving
until she was called home.
A Time to Depart:
Jackie was called to her heavenly home on Wednesday, October 12,
2022, with her children by her side saying their good-byes. Preceding
her in death were her parents, Rufus and Helen Dixon; husband, James
“Jimmy” Gardner; great-granddaughter, Samiya Riley Brown; also
prior to her death, she lost her brothers, James, Robert “Tom,” Chester,
Duke, and Elliott Dixon; and special sister-in-law, Lillie Dixon.
A Time of Memories:
As her legacy continues, she leaves behind four children, Willie (Toni)
Mobley of St. Louis, MO, Kelvin Mobley of Wildwood, FL, LaWanda
Ware (Stanford) of Leesburg, FL, and Voncia Deveau (Donnie) of
Oxford, FL. She also leaves behind 12 grandchildren and 19 greatgrandchildren.
To plant a tree in memory of Edna Mae Gardner, visit the Tribute Store.
116 Huey Street
Wildwood, FL 34785
12114 US Highway 301
Oxford, FL 34484
705 Industrial Drive
Wildwood, FL 34785