Ruth Thomas Gardner

Ruth Thomas Gardner

Passed: January 30, 2024
Charleston, WV

Ruth Thomas Gardner

Passed: January 30, 2024
Charleston, WV


Ruth Thomas Gardner, 92, of Charleston, WV, died in her home on January 30, 2024, surrounded by her family. A lifelong resident of Charleston, Ruth was born March 14, 1931, to Jo Royer Thomas and Frank A Thomas, Sr.

Ruth, or “Mimi” to family and friends, enjoyed golf, bridge, and lunches with her lifelong friends, but she especially loved being with her family. She led a full life, and in true spirit, even more so when faced with a series of life challenges.

She loved watching nature unfold, rising early in the morning to watch the sunrise, having the deer greet her, or basking in the beauty of birds gathering outside her window. When we realized she was closer to going “home,” her family was at her side, along with dozens of birds, as well as squirrels and chipmunks. Someone mentioned it looked like a scene from a Disney movie.

Ruth passed away peacefully at home, and it gives her family great joy and solace knowing that their departed loved ones were there to greet her with open and loving arms to welcome her home.

Ruth attended St. Margaret’s Preparatory School and Centenary College, both in Hackensack, NJ, where she loved taking the train to New York City on weekends and catching the newest Broadway shows with her friends. After college, Ruth was a kindergarten teacher until she started her own family, raising five children, as well as two grandchildren.

Ruth was preceded in death by both her parents; husband ,William H Gardner, Sr.; daughter, Margaret “Meg” Gardner Sothen; daughter-in-law, Jeanne Vandall Gardner, and two brothers and their wives, Frank A Thomas, Jr., (Dorothy) and John L. Thomas, (Ruth).

She leaves behind many family members. She is survived by her children: Son William H. Gardner, Jr., son-in-law William Sothen and daughter Frances Hartman, (Robert), all of Charleston, WV, daughter Martha Ferguson, (John), of St. Augustine Beach, FL, and son Daniel T. Gardner, (Karen), of Apopka, FL; Her grandchildren: Mary Gardner Stewart, Beth Hartman Pauley, (Jody), Jennifer Ferguson Malcom, (Jon), Shelly Gardner Lutz, (Brian), Shannon Sothen Williams, (Darrell), Joey Sothen, (Kristin) and John W. Ferguson, and her great-grandchildren: Drew, Jake, and Teddy Stewart, Lewie and Henry Lutz, Elle and Bodie Williams, Sonny Sothen, Jack Pauley, and Davie and Raina Malcom. Also surviving are several nieces and nephews she loved dearly.

The family would like to thank her devoted caregivers who seemed to love her almost as much as her family: Lexie Leonard, Tyeann Wyrick, Stacey Gill and Stacy Clement. They truly became an extension of the family. Also, the Hospice Care team, led by Jo Bailey. The family will miss them dearly.

And to our Mom and our Mimi, “We love you all the time.” Sadly, we will have to wait until we meet again to hear your response, “Love you all the time, too.”

Funeral service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 6, 2024, at Christ Church United Methodist, 1221 Quarrier Street, Charleston, WV, with Pastor Jay Parkins and Pastor Emeritus Randy Flanagan officiating. Burial at Mountain View Memorial Park Cemetery, Charleston, will follow.

Visitation will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Monday, February 5, 2024, at Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home, 1118 Virginia Street East, Charleston, WV.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the following: Hospice Care, Christ Church United Methodist, The ALS Association and/or Alzheimer’s Association.

Condolences may be sent to the family at .

Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.

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2 responses to Ruth Thomas Gardner

  1. Jan Troiani says:

    Many condolences to the family. I am sure Ruth will be missed but remembered as she was in the prime of life. To Dan, I look forward to getting together soon.

  2. Deepest sympathy and condolences to all the Gardners.
    Ruth was a noble lady and a great mother.

    Steve Thomas

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