On September 2, 2002 Teresa Mary Ita Gardner (nee Corr) passed away at Royal Inland Hospital, Kamloops at the age of 80. She was comforted by her loving family until the end.
Ita was pre-deceased by her husband, Hugh on Dec. 24, 1980. She will be fondly remembered by her sister Sister Marie Immaculata in Cork, Ireland; her children Malcolm (Cheryl Brackett), Michael (Sylvia Lakes), Judy (Doug May), Wendy (Ian Pirie), Peter (Marilyn); her grandchildren Mandy (Todd), Callum, Cameron, Stephan, Scott, Kyle, Duncan, Robyn, Katrine, Fiona, and Jeremy; and her great grandchildren Sadie, Colby, Jaimi and Connor Hall.
Born April 4, 1922 in Knock, County Mayo, Ireland she was a woman of great intelligence, courage and fortitude. A top honours student who received national recognition in her day, Ita left Ireland to seek adventure and fortune in London. With the advent of World War II, she found herself in India serving in the Special Operations Executive Commission of the FANY’s (First Aid Nursing Yeomanry). The work was top secret and highly skilled. The women worked coding signals, acted as conductors for agents and provided technical support for the Special Training Schools.
On March 3, 1945 she married a young Commanding Officer, Hugh MacCallum Gardner, of the Seaforth Highlanders. Once decommissioned after the war they settled in Inverness, Scotland and in the ensuing years raised 5 children, established teaching careers and in 1968 emigrated to Agassiz, BC. In 1970 the family moved to Barriere where Ita taught at the Barriere Elementary School until 1983. She will be fondly remembered by her many students as a demanding but fair minded task mistress.
A service was held on September 10 at St. George’s Catholic Church attended by her family and many friends in the community.