Fontella Gardner…September 19, 1921 – August 18, 2017


Funeral Services for Fontella Gardner will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, August 25, 2017 at the First United Methodist Church in Las Animas, Colorado with Pastor Gary Pritchard and Pastor Susie Burley officiating.  Interment will follow in the Bent/Las Animas Cemetery.  Visitation will be held on Thursday, August 24, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at Horber Funeral Chapel.

Byrdie Fontella Gardner, affectionately known to most as Fontella, was born to Casto and Myrtle (Mahan) Dunavin September 19, 1921.  She passed away peacefully in her home on August 18, 2017 at the age of 95.

Fontella was born in Las Animas, Colorado and lived at the homestead 23 miles south of Las Animas until she was 2 years old. They lived several places in and around Las Animas, including the jail, when Casto became sheriff from 1933 to 1939. Fontella went to school at Melonfield, Frey School, Columbian and graduated from Bent County High School in the class of 1939. She joined the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps for 2 ½  years in Pueblo. World War II ended and a young man, Loyde Gardner returned and proposed marriage. On December 17, 1945, they were married in the Methodist Church in Las Animas. After a long honeymoon to California, they returned home in Keller Community. Here they farmed and raised their family.

Fontella was active in the community; teaching 4-H Home Nursing and cooking. She won Top Homemaker both in the County and State. Fontella helped with 4-H talent acts that also won state honors. She was a member of the Home Demonstration Club until it became inactive after 100 years. In 1953 the Kitchen Klutter Band was born. This was a group of ladies that entertained and made music with instruments from the kitchen. The band was there to please the audience with a specific theme for the occasion. They were on television, entertained throughout the state, and were mentioned on Paul Harvey.

Fontella is survived by her eight children; Donna (Kenneth) Dodson, Alvin “Bud” (Linda) Gardner, Peggy (Raymond) Fritz, Glenda (Dale) Yarnell, Earl (Annette) Gardner, Larry (Gayle) Gardner, Pam Reyher, David (Stephanie) Gardner; 17 grandchildren; 21 great grandchildren; and 4 great-great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; loving husband, Loyde Gardner of 70 years; her sister, Gelema Jones; and infant sisters, Reba and Greta.

Memorial contributions may be made in Fontella’s honor to The Josh Gardner Memorial Scholarship Fund in care of Horber Funeral Chapel, P.O. Box 431, Las Animas, CO, 81054.

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Filed Under: Obituary


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