Virginia Ruth Gardner

ALTONA – Virginia Ruth Gardner, 78, of Altona, passed away peacefully at her home in Altona on Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013, surrounded by her family after a long, courageous battle with cancer.

She was born Aug. 25, 1934, in Saranac Lake, the daughter of Wilfred J. and Eva May (Sargent) Ducatt.

She married Lester E. Gardner at St. John’s Church in Lake Clear on Feb. 28, 1953. Virginia was a parishioner of Holy Angels Church in Altona. She was a member of Altona Home Bureau and found independence with the women’s bowling league. Her greatest joy and accomplishment was being a wife and mother. She was a gifted mother whose love and loyalty were never-ending. She enjoyed raising and caring for her family and many grandchildren. Before her illness, Virginia and her husband would spend their winter months in Florida. It was here in Tavares that she could be found riding her bike, boating, entertaining her family and playing with her grandchildren.

Survivors include her husband, Lester Gardner of Altona; three sons and a daughter-in-law: Patrick Gardner of Chazy Lake, Michael and Amy Gardner of Altona, and Pete Gardner of Plattsburgh; four daughters and three sons-in-law: Debra and Charles Bruce of Saranac Lake, Cynthia Jennett of Plattsburgh, Patricia and Todd Stein of Ithaca, and Barbara and Jay Marking of Plattsburgh; a brother and sister-in-law, Richard and Sandy Ducatt of Lake Clear; four sisters and two brothers-in-law: Beverly Moody and her companion Jack Charlebois of Brasher Falls, Shirley and Butch Durfee of Saranac Lake, Sylvia and Clarence Brockway of Lake Clear, and Cindy Montez from Saranac Lake; 19 grandchildren: Scott Lushia, Neil Lushia, Matthew Bruce, Daniel Bruce, Alison Reznek, Katie Caska, Ashley Jennett, Christopher Ackerman, Nathan Merrick, Bradley Gardner, Leslie Marking, Jace Marking, Heidi Marking, Justin Gardner, Jill Moore, Juliana Gardner, Corrinne Butz, Craig Gardner and Casey Gardner; 11 great-grandchildren: Arianna Ackerman, Gabriel Caska, Sophia Caska, Oliver Reznek, Jazmin Lushia, Kristen Lushia, John David Lushia, Evan Gardner, Kaylee Moore, Rilyn Coupal and Jaysen Butz; and many nieces and nephews. Virginia is also survived by her friend, confidant and caretaker, Donna Moore, whom she lovingly referred to as “an angel.” She also received the best of care and love from Donna, Ann and Jessica.

Virginia was predeceased by her daughter Sandra Lushia on March 31, 2009, her mother Eva May Ducatt on Dec. 20, 2011, and her father Wilfred J. Ducatt on Dec. 25, 1998.

Calling hours will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. today at the R.W. Walker Funeral Home in Plattsburgh. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at Holy Angels Church in Altona. Burial will follow in the parish cemetery. Immediately following the burial will be a celebration of Virginia’s life at the Rainbow Banquet Hall in Altona.

Donations may be made to Hospice of the North Country or Fitzpatrick Cancer Center.

Online condolences may be made to

Arrangements are in the care of the R.W. Walker Funeral Home, 69 Court Street, Plattsburgh, 518-563-1760.