Ruby "Gene" (Draper) Gardner

Ruby "Gene" (Draper) Gardner


Ruby “Gene” (Draper) Gardner, 93, of Kirksville, Missouri, passed away Sunday (July 6, 2014) at Northeast Regional Medical Center in Kirksville.

The daughter of Bert and Carrie Bell (Newman) Draper, she was born September 29, 1920 in rural Brashear, Missouri. On January 24, 1942 in Brashear, Gene was united in marriage to Merlyn “Rusty” Gardner who preceded her in death on March 3, 2004.

She was also preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, Forrest and Samuel Draper; one sister, Wilma Veach and one granddaughter, Pamela Rager.

Gene is survived by three daughters, Vicki (Lonnie) Rager of Greentop, MO, Joy Mahurin of Peoria, IL and Holly (Larry) Martin of Webster City, IA; six grandchildren, Traci (Kevin) Chrisman, Cindy (Shawn) Kitts, Brandi and David Mahurin, Sam (Dawnyal) Martin and Andy Martin; nine great grandchildren, Zachary and Tasha Chrisman, Katherine and Alex Martin, Von, Behr, Andi , Crissy and Keegan Kitts; as well as nieces and nephews.

Gene was a graduate from Kirksville High School and received a teaching degree at Northeast Missouri State University. She began her teaching career at Radical Ridge rural school. While Rusty served in the Army, stationed in Dayton, OH, she worked at government offices. After returning to MO, and being at home with their daughters, Gene taught at Willard School in Kirksville, until she retired in 1980. While teaching, Gene was initiated into Kappa Delta Pi, and Delta Kappa Gamma International Honor Societies.

Gene was a leader of Sperry 4-H Club, and chairman of Sperry March of Dimes. She enjoyed flower gardening, writing poetry, and was a devoted Bible student.

Gene was a long time member of the Bethel Community Church where she taught both Sunday and Bible school.

Funeral services will be held 2:00 p.m. Friday (July 11, 2014) at Travis-Noe Funeral Home in Kirksville, with Pastor James Maxey and Pastor Darrell Draper officiating. Interment will follow the service at Maple Hills Cemetery in Kirksville.

Pallbearers will be David Mahurin, Sam Martin, Shawn Kitts, Kevin Chrisman, Andy Martin and Zachary Chrisman.

Family will receive friends on Friday (July 11, 2014) for one hour before the service in the chapel of Travis-Noe Funeral Home.

Expressions of sympathy in memory of Gene Gardner may be made to the Ronald McDonald House of Columbia, Missouri. Memorials may be left at or mailed to Travis-Noe Funeral Home, P.O. Box 306, Kirksville, MO 63501.

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