Eleanor (Ellie) Hoffmaster Gardner of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida passed away on December 24, 2015 at the age of 87. Mrs. Gardner was married to Dr. Thomas A. Gardner, now deceased, and was a devoted wife of 58 years and the mother of three sons. Ellie was a very positive person throughout her life, and friends remember her constant smile and optimistic personality. She cared deeply for her family and her friends, and she had a special ability to make everyone in her presence feel comfortable and at ease. Her enthusiasm and personality were infectious.
Ellie was born on February 19, 1928 in Grove City, PA and was raised in Mount Jackson, PA. She graduated from Mount Jackson High School in North Beaver Township, PA in 1945. Ellie graduated from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she earned a degree in Medical Technology, in 1949. After college, she worked as a laboratory technician at the University of Pennsylvania hospital in Philadelphia and the Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, PA.
Mrs. Gardner dedicated many years to community organizations in the Franklin, PA area, especially the Hospital Auxiliary. After her sons left for college, Ellie earned her real estate brokerage license. She founded a real estate firm, Park Real Estate in Meadville, PA, and managed that business for almost 10 years.
Mrs. Gardner especially loved her family, her grandchildren, her home at Argeon Hill, the beach at Ponte Vedra, and her women’s tennis group. Ellie was a very accomplished seamstress, and she loved to make clothes for her grandchildren. She is survived by three sons and three daughters-in-law; Thomas and Maureen Grace Gardner of Ann Arbor, MI, Timothy and Deborah Gardner of Winston-Salem, NC, and Ted and Lisa Gardner of Charlotte, NC. Mrs. Gardner is also survived by eight grandchildren, whose lives she will continue to influence in memory, and seven great grandchildren.
Over the past 10 years, Ellie was fortunate to have close friendships with Margie Dieter, Peggy Hall and Betty Price, all of whom helped Ellie live a full and active life. In addition, a group of important women who cared for Ellie on a 24-hour basis were extremely kind and giving. Ellie’s family wants to thank all of these special people.
Ellie Gardner was the daughter of Wright R. Hoffmaster and May McAnlis Hoffmaster. She is survived by one sibling, Albert Hoffmaster of Mount Jackson, PA.
A memorial service will be held on January 29th at Palms Presbyterian Church in Ponte Vedra, FL at 2:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations to be made to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.