Doretta "Dee" Gardner

Aug 11, 1931 – Dec 29, 2015

Doretta Dee Gardner obituary image 1



Doretta “Dee” Gardner was born on August 11th, 1931 and passed away on December 29th, 2015 after many years fighting both breast & lung cancers.  Recently diagnosed with stomach cancer that finally took her home to Heaven she is now an angel looking over us.  She was surrounded by her loving children, Cindy & Keith.  Mom was proceeded in death by her parents, Ralph and Catherine Lee (nee Katarina Soderlind); sisters, LaVonne Lee, Ginger Marek, & Patricia Gauff, and brother, Charles “Buddy” Lee.  She is survived by husband, Harrison, daughter, Cindy Gardner of Auburn, son Gary (Patty) of Waikoloa, Hawaii, and son Keith (Carol) of Seattle; Siblings, twin brother, Donald Lee of Seattle, Joyce Eide of Seattle, Bonita Key of Seattle, and Bobbie Obermarck of Renton; Grandchildren Jason, Serina, Agnes, Sam, & Dakotah; great-grandchildren; Alexis, Olivia, Shelbie, Cheyenne, Charlotte, great-great grandson, Markus; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Visits by her sisters Joyce and Bobbie, brother, Don, and nieces Debbie, Julie, Mona, & Rebecca, Cathi, and great-niece, Caitlin, nephews Richard and Ron, grandson Dakotah, and friend Cat, were all a source of comfort for Mom while in the hospital.  She adored all her family and friends.

Mom graduated from Franklin High School in Seattle.  She attended various clerical courses and held a variety of jobs while also being a homemaker. She would earn extra money in the Fall to insure her children had the best Christmases.

The family would like to say a special thank you to all the medical staff at Swedish Hospital, First Hill on Floor 7 as well as the staff at Swedish Orthopedic Institute on Floor 5 for taking such good care of Mom in her time of need.

Our Mom was the best mother to her children and the best friend to all who was blessed to know her.

Rest in peace Mom.  We love you more than you will ever know.


Carol Betcher
Mesa, AZ
Jan 15, 2016

I had so wanted to leave a fitting tribute to my most fave Auntie - but wanted to think of what to say. But I remain speechless - it is impossible to wrap my mind around the loss of Auntie Dee, as she was known to all of us cousins. She was always a constant in our lives, our somewhat scattered and turbulent lives, Auntie (and Uncle Harry) were always there, living in the same home they'd been in since at least the early 1960's, the only home I ever knew them to be in... No trip to Seattle was complete without dropping in to visit with Auntie (and Uncle), and no visitor left there hungry unless it was their own choice, offers of tasty sandwiches and cake were always proffered... Even well into adulthood Auntie would remember my birthday with a card, probably from Bartell's - I don't even recall if she always put a $5/$10 in the cards, it was the WORDS that were more important! Auntie and Uncle were not rich, monetarily, but they were millionaires in family love - gifts for Christmas and birthdays undoubtedly were not expensive, but they were very well thought out. Some of my fave gifts I can remember clear back to the mid-60's came from Auntie Dee.

Auntie's beautiful yard and garden will also be much missed. R.I.P. Auntie, and I'm sure you're now in the loving arms of Grandma and your siblings who predeceased you, including my mother LaVonne.

Peggy Van Aller
Friendswood, TX
Jan 11, 2016

Where does one start with over 50 yrs of memories? I spent a lot of time as a child at my Auntie Dee home. Whether it was spending the night with my cousin Cindy or coming over for holidays, my Auntie Dee was a big part of my childhood and early adult life. My Auntie Dee made the best carrot cake ever and she knew how to make cinnamon rolls that didn't taste like hard biscuits with icing. She knew how to garden and I like to think I got a bit of my green thumb from her.

My heart goes out to my cousins as they go through this difficult time. May they feel the comfort of God's love for them.

Cathi Key
Seattle, WA
Jan 11, 2016

So many fond memories of what a wonderful person Auntie Dee was. So many talents too: cooking, sewing, gardening. I'll always remember the colorful sweet peas that she grew along the fence in her back yard. I just found out recently when I mentioned that memory that her nickname when she was younger was Sweet Pea. Will miss her so much.

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