Tara L. Gardner, 45, Mannsville

MANNSVILLE, NY —  Tara L. Gardner, 45, Mannsville, passed away Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, at her home surrounded by her immediate family. Her cousin Jenna Gardner provided her with medical expertise, guidance and moral support from the time of her diagnosis, throughout her treatments and finally, with round the clock nursing care as needed.

Calling hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 30, at the Carpenter-Stoodley Funeral Home Belleville, followed by a 3 p.m.memorial service at the Mannsville United Methodist Church, Lorraine Street, Mannsville, NY.  A Celebration of Life gathering will be held at the Mannsville Fire Department building following the service.

Tara was born in Watertown, March 31, 1974, a daughter to David and Bonnie Austin Gardner.  She was a 1992 graduate of South Jefferson High School.  Tara later graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City and SUNY Oswego with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts (BFA).  She later graduated from SUNY Oswego with her Master’s Degree in Art Education.

Tara enjoyed travel from an early age and while still in high school, signed up to be an exchange student in Germany.  Following her college graduation, Tara and her best friend spent their summer traveling throughout Europe.

Tara worked for several Advertising Art and Graphic Design firms both in New York City and in Syracuse for several years.  She then began to realize that her true calling was working with children to help them see the world through the eyes of an artist. She combined her passion for art with her love of children and began her career as an Art teacher in the Sandy Creek School District in 2003. She taught Art both in the high school and grades K-5 for 16 years, leaving due to ill health.

Tara had an unbridled zest for life and adventure that she translated into her greatest joy, spending time with her beloved children. She used her creative talents to conjure up, plan and execute one adventure after another.  From simple sledding parties on Tower Hill to elaborate vacations to places like Disney and Lake Placid.  Her infectious enthusiasm and warm smile will be forever missed by her many friends and family.

Tara is survived by a son Noah Abbott, 14 and a daughter, Chloe Abbott, 12; a sister and brother-in-law, Julie (Joe) Ramus, Pulaski; her father David Gardner (Sandra Clement), Sackets Harbor; and her many aunts, uncles and cousins.

She was predeceased by her mother Bonnie (Austin) Gardner on Jan. 16, 2010, her grandparents, Robert and Alice Austin, and Everett and Evelyn Gardner.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Jefferson County, Dollars for Scholars c/o Sandy Creek CSD or the Mannsville Volunteer Fire Department.

Online condolences may be made at www.carpenterstoodley.com.