Donna Gardner

Obituary of Donna Marie Gardner

Donna Marie Gardner was born on September 27, 1946 in Southampton, New York to the late Sarah Lee (Smith) Randall and Charles Bernard Randall II. She crossed over into the Spirit World on April 15, 2020. Donna completed her elementary and secondary education in the Riverhead Central School District. After graduating from High School in 1965, she studied art and fashion at The Traphagen School of Fashion in Manhattan, N.Y. In the 70’s Donna worked in Harlem for the Amsterdam News, one of the oldest African-American owned and operated newspapers in the country. In 1976, her artwork was selected to grace the front cover of the weekly’s Bicentennial Special Edition. In the early 90’s Donna worked as an oral history archivist for the Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center and Museum. Notably, she interviewed the Shippen sisters who were the daughters of golfing icon John Shippen and the granddaughters of Shinnecock whaler Milton W. Lee. On May 17, 1980 Donna married Reginald T. Gardner whom she affectionately called Theodore, while everyone else called him Poochie. Donna adored her husband and together they enjoyed hosting parties, traveling and spending time with family. With her particular nature, sense of style and attention to detail she could organize a party, a wedding or special event with precision. Her creativity was boundless. She loved drawing, painting, interior design, music and dance. She also loved animals and was devoted to her pet cats and dogs. Theodore’s sudden passing in 1992 left Donna with a broken heart from which she never recovered. They are now together for eternity. She is predeceased by her stepson Reginald T. Gardner Jr., sisters Patricia P. Cooke, Leah Randall and Isadora C. Hutchings; brothers, Edward R. Randall, James B. Randall and Deforest E. Randall. She is survived by her stepdaughter Tracey Pace, son-in-law Terry Pace, grandsons Amar and Brandon Gardner and five great-grandchildren, one sister, Jacqueline A.H. Randall, two brothers, Charles B. Randall III and Joseph C. Randall, five sister-in-law’s Reta Fenn, Evelyn Randall, Patricia Randall, Fredricka Randall and Sondra Palmer Randall, one brother-in-law William Hutchings Sr. Her memory will be cherished by her cousin Herbert Randall, friend Josephine Smith and the Wilkerson Family, all of whom Donna was especially fond, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
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Private Graveside Service

2:00 pm
Sunday, April 19, 2020
Shinnecock Cemetery
Cemetery Road
Southampton, New York, United States