Mary LaVern Gardner was welcomed home by her Heavenly Father and many loved ones on Dec. 10, 2021.
Born June 9, 1939, in Fairview, Utah, to Erven Joseph and Anna Melba Peterson Brothersen, LaVern was the oldest of five children. She had built-in best friends for life when Elaine and Deanna joined the family. She also had two younger brothers, John and David.
As the eldest child, LaVern was taught from the beginning that girls could do anything boys could do. From driving a team of horses under the blazing sun to feeding livestock in the cold of winter and riding horses to town with her sisters, her memories cultivated on the family farm made her appreciate the value of hard work.
She also learned more feminine tasks like cooking and sewing from her mother, who was a talented seamstress. Throughout her life she passed these skills on to many others who had a desire to learn how to sew.
LaVern met her eternal companion, Junior Gardner, at a community dance in Mt. Pleasant. Shortly after she graduated from North Sanpete High School in 1957, the pair was married in the Manti Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
After living in Birdseye for a short time and starting their family there, Junior and LaVern moved to Mt. Pleasant and a few years later built a home on a ranch of their own not far from where LaVern was raised.
Their children Fred and Kathy were raised on the ranch, and it went on to be a favorite place for their four grandchildren to be as well. A highlight of their time as grandparents was having their grandsons live next door.
On their family farm, LaVern not only helped with day-to-day livestock tasks, but she was also the head mechanic who could change oil and tune up a tractor, baler or swather. Many times when they didn’t have the money for something she wanted, she just got out her tools and made it herself. LaVern also enjoyed playing the piano and taking pictures.
LaVern was a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ. Throughout her life she was involved in many callings, but humanitarian aid was especially dear to her, and with the help of friends she was able to use her talents to serve people across the globe.
In her later years she put her talents to use helping make horse show and rodeo queen attire for her two granddaughters.
She also enjoyed having company and visiting with family near and far.
LaVern was preceded in death by her husband of 59 years, her parents and many other loved ones.
She is survived by her devoted children, Fred (Ann) Gardner of Mesquite, Nev., and Kathy (Jay) Nelson of Fairview; four grandchildren, Randy Gardner of Mesquite, Nev., Rick (Stacey) Gardner of Eagle Mountain, Stevie (Logan) Ipsen of New Plymouth, Idaho, and Ashlee (Taylon) Earl of Fairview; and 10 great-grandchildren; her sisters, Deanna Hansen of Mt. Pleasant and Elaine Mayo of Provo; her brothers, John (Terri) Brothersen of Mt. Pleasant and David Brothersen of Mt. Pleasant; as well as many nieces, nephews and friends.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021 at 11 a.m., with a viewing from 9-10:30 a.m. at the Mt. Pleasant 3rd Ward Building, 295 S. State Street in Mt. Pleasant.
Burial will be in the Mt. Pleasant City Cemetery.