Myrtle Anna Gardner, 100, of Grand Rapids, Minn., formerly of Toledo, Iowa, passed away Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, at her home at River Grand Senior Living. Celebration of Life services will be at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, at Eicher Mennonite Church in Wayland. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday until the service. Burial will follow in Eicher Cemetery. A memorial fund has been established for Eicher Mennonite Church or Christ United Methodist Church in Toledo. Beatty Funeral Home is assisting the family.
Myrtle Anna Gardner was born Dec. 27, 1919, in Noble, Iowa, the daughter of Elmer and Emma (Oswald) Freyenberger. She graduated from Wayland High School. Myrtle worked as a nurse's aide, then at the pearl button factory in Washington and later at Midland Rubber Co. in Cedar Rapids, where she met her husband, Harry Gardner Jr. They were married Oct. 23, 1945, in Moline, Ill. They lived in southeast Iowa in the early years, where her three children were born, moving to Grundy Center, then settled in Toledo for 48 years, where Christ United Methodist Church was central to her life. She enjoyed watching her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren grow up. Harry and Myrtle enjoyed many trips and the many friendships they developed through the years. Her husband of 60 years passed away in 2006. She moved to River Grand Senior Living in Grand Rapids, Minn., in 2008, where she enjoyed life with the residents and staff.
Myrtle is survived by her son, Harry III (Jean) Gardner of Grand Rapids; daughters, Janet and Jean Gardner of Michigan; grandchildren, Harry IV (Kim) Gardner of Tennessee, Richard (Jessica) Gardner of Cedar Rapids, Jodi (Howe) Siegel of Minnesota and Julie (Adam) Schneider of Minnesota; grandson-in-law, Tony Kasal of Tama; 11 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; sister, Ina Mae (Orlin) Eigsti of Kansas; and one sister-in-law, Connie Gardner of Toledo.
Myrtle was preceded in death by her husband, Harry, in 2006; granddaughter, Jennifer Kasal; brothers, William Freyenberger, Robert Freyenberger and Ed Freyenberger; and sister, Ruth Graber.