The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

January 14, 2014

Nancy Jane (Ekstrand) Gardner

Published 1-14-14


Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Jane was born June 2, 1949, at the Florence Crittenton Home in Kansas City, Mo., the daughter of Lavon Marie Tyson. She was adopted at the age of three months by Bill and Helen Ekstrand of Salina, Kan., and they named her Nancy Jane Ekstrand.

She graduated from Salina High School in 1968, and attended Fort Hays State College before moving to Oklahoma City in 1969.

She married Don Gardner on May 5, 1972, in New Orleans, La.

Jane was to food and beverage comptroller for the Fairmont-Roosevelt Hotel, and they lived in the French Quarter with their beloved Old English sheepdog, Willoughby D’ane.

Don and Jane also lived in Enid, Tulsa and Kansas City before returning to Oklahoma City in 1984.

Jane was preceded by Bill and Helen, her adoptive parents.

She is survived by her husband, Donald; daughters, Heather Gardner and Laurel Newsom (Matt); her beloved and adored grandson, Braden Newsom; and four stepchildren, whom she loved as her own, Don Gardner Jr., Dorothy Roden (Bruce),  John Gardner (Tasha), and Judith Prudhomme (Tad), who collectively blessed her with 12 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

She and Don rode their roller coaster of life with passion. The ride was simply too short.

Her memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, at Crown Heights United Methodist Church, 37th & N. Western in Oklahoma City.

“My candle burns at both ends;

It will not last the night;

But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends?

It gives a lovely light.”

— Edna St. Vincent Millay

(Submitted by family)