Mary Bass Gardner, age 81, of Atlanta, GA passed away from COVID-19 at her skilled nursing facility in Decatur, GA on April 22, 2020. She was born in Oliver Springs, TN on January 20, 1939, to Phil and Leedie (Shepherd) Bass. She married her sweetheart on January 4, 1963, and moved to Cocoa Beach, FL. She lived and raised a family in Cocoa Beach for 43 years before relocating to Atlanta, GA after the death of her husband in 2006. She also retired at that time from MC Assembly where she worked for over 25 years.
She grew up attending Mineral Springs Baptist Church in Oliver Springs and was a lifelong Christian. After moving to Atlanta, she quickly became a member of First Baptist Church Atlanta and loved listening to Dr. Charles Stanley. She was a member of the Faith Sunday School class where she formed many dear friendships. She also enjoyed participating in seasonal class field trips. Mary appreciated volunteering at the Missionary Care Center and attending the quarterly “Widow’s Luncheon”. She was talented and creative with sewing, knitting, and crocheting. Gardening, cooking/eating, and reading were also other activities she enjoyed. She was especially proud of earning her high school diploma in 1975 after her father required her to quit high school as a freshman, imagining it no place for girls. She had a great sense of humor, was feisty, tenacious, one of a kind and never met a stranger. Most of all, she was beloved. She treasured her family, was selfless in life and will be forever missed.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by husband, Henry (H.R.) Gardner whom she gave care and comfort to before his passing; brothers, Paul Bass, Willard Bass, Harry Lee Bass; Clyde Bass; Porter Bass; sister, Evelyn Lively.
Survivors include brother, Elgin and wife Judy of Andersonville, TN; sisters-in-law, Retha Bass and Marlena Bass of Oliver Springs, TN; son, Gary Gardner and wife Debbie of Maynardville, TN; daughter Frankie Gardner of Atlanta, GA; grandchildren, Chris Gardner (Bobbie Jean), Jennifer Belew, and Cori Gardner; great grandchildren Loralai Gardner and Christopher Gardner; Shawn and Max Kelley; her cherished dachshund, Baxter; grand-dog, Angus, as well as many other relatives, friends, and loved ones.
The family will receive friends from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm, Saturday, June 26 at Premier Sharp Funeral Home, Oliver Springs, TN. Services will follow at 2:30 with Pastor Garvin Walls officiating. Reception immediately following at Old Towne Inn, Oak Ridge, TN. She will be interred at Roane Memorial Gardens in Rockwood, TN beside her husband at a future date.
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