Emma Decima “Des” Gardner, 77, went to be with her heavenly father on Monday, October 14, 2013, joining her loving husband, Lowell Sr., and infant daughter, Valerie Ann, who preceded her in the journey to heaven.
As she crossed the bridge, she slowed just long enough to pick up Koko, her 4-legged companion to join her in the journey. Her parents, Sylvester and Chelsa Jean Lowe; sisters, Jacqueline Ford, Corrine Rogers; brother, Roy Lowe; and granddaughter, Valerie Nicole Sexton; rejoiced in her homecoming.
Emma was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church of Big Stone Gap.
Emma is survived by two sons, Lowell “Cotton” Gardner Jr. and wife, Melinda, and Jessee “Bud” Gardner and wife, Reava, and one daughter, Vickie Ratliff and husband, Donnie, all of Big Stone Gap, Virginia; one sister, Edna Mae Miller, and one brother, Lonnie C. Lowe, both of Travelers Rest, South Carolina; brother-in-law, Walter H. Gardner and wife, Delores, of Big Stone Gap. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Contessa Gardner Robinette, Corey Gardner, Stephanie Williams, Nicholas Ratliff, Jason Ratliff and Jared Ratliff; eleven great-grandchildren; and four great-great grandchildren; a host of loving nieces, nephews, and friends. She particularly treasured her time spent with special friends Marlene Ratliff, Edward Powell and his wife, Pauline, and Cora Haynes.
The family invites friends and family to celebrate Emma’s life on Wednesday (Oct. 16, 2013) from 6 to 8 p.m. at Gilliam Funeral Home, 618 Wood Ave. E., Big Stone Gap.
The funeral services will be Thursday (Oct. 17, 2013) at 1 p.m. in the chapel of the funeral home with Rev. Ronnie Mutter, Rev. Nathan Ware and Rev. Jason Ratliff officiating.
Graveside services will follow in Powell Valley Memorial Gardens, Big Stone Gap, Virginia. Grandsons are honored to serve as her pallbearers.
The family would like to recognize and thank the staff of Wellmont Holston Valley Hospital ICU Step-down Unit for their loving care.
Gilliam Funeral Home, Big Stone Gap, is honored to serve the Gardner Family.
You may go online to view obituaries, offer condolences and sign the guest book at www.gilliamfuneralhome.com.