Martha Stohl Gardiner, our beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, and dear friend passed away early on December 16, 2023, at the age of 76 after battling the effects of cancer treatments and Alzheimer's. She leaves behind a family that adores her. We can only imagine her joy in reuniting with dear family and friends on the other side of the veil.
Martha was born on June 15, 1947, to Clark Nelson and Betty Burton Stohl. She was the fourth of seven children and the third of six daughters. The lifelong love and friendship she shared with her siblings have been sources of happiness throughout her life.
Martha attended Highland High School and the University of Utah. While in college, she met her future husband, Paul Gardiner. Paul and Martha were married on September 6, 1967, in the Salt Lake Temple, and thus began her lifelong career and focus: her family.
Paul and Martha were the best of partners. They cared for each other’s needs and comfort before their own. We are especially grateful to our dad for the nonstop care he has given our Mom over these last few years. It has been inspiring to watch them grow closer during trying times.
Martha was mom to five rowdy boys and one lucky daughter. She was the best mom our family could hope for. Among many lessons, she taught us how to laugh, not take ourselves too seriously, be completely honest, and, above all, follow the Savior Jesus Christ with whole-souled devotion.
Her greatest joy was being with her family; she did all she could to get them together often. Her Sunday dinners were amazing, and she was the driving force behind memorable holiday gatherings, including Christmases with ham loaf and egg sausage casserole and Halloweens with mummy dogs and homemade root beer. Our dad was always her partner in these memorable events.
Martha was at her best with her beloved grandchildren, who lovingly called her “Grandma Turtle” due to her famous turtle collection. She loved taking grandkids shoe shopping on their birthdays, attending performances and games, and finding any other excuse to spend time with them. Grandma Turtle thoroughly enjoyed conversing with them and was gifted at listening to them, even from their littlest days. We cannot remember a moment when she wasn’t positive and encouraging to each of her grandchildren.
Friendship and kindness came easy to her. There weren’t many people who knew Martha who didn’t consider her a dear friend. Social, economic, or faith status had nothing to do with her ability to see others as equals (and usually "greater-thans"). Material possessions did not matter to her. She was disappointed when she once got “too happy” about getting a new car.
As her kids grew older, Martha enjoyed staying productive by working as a secretary at Samuel Morgan Elementary and later at the Missionary Medical department at Deseret Mutual Benefit Association. True to form, she made dear friends at both jobs.
Besides her love of family and friends, her lasting legacy will be as a humble follower of Jesus Christ. As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she served wherever needed and didn’t count the cost. Her motivation was entirely focused on giving back to a Savior she relied on completely.
Martha is preceded in death by her parents, Clark and Betty Stohl, and her sister, Jennis Stohl. She is survived by her husband of 56 years, Paul; her children, Sam (Amy) Gardiner, Carl (Paige) Gardiner, Roger (Angee) Gardiner, Annie McNabb (Ryan), Ted (Sarah) Gardiner, and Jon (Kristie) Gardiner; her 23 grandchildren; her 4 great-grandchildren; and siblings, Burton (Marilyn) Stohl, Katie (Ellis) Ivory, Sara (Roger) Boyer, Amy (Richard) Moffat, and Laura (Rob) Chipman.
There will be a visitation at Russon Brothers Mortuary (1941 N Main St, Farmington, UT 84025) on Wednesday, December 20, 2023, from 6 pm to 8 pm. Martha’s funeral services will be on Thursday, December 21, 2023, at 11 am at the Stone Creek ward meetinghouse in Bountiful (1476 N 300 W, Bountiful, UT 84010). Friends are welcome to visit from 9:30 am to 10:30 am. For those unable to attend in person, the service will be livestreamed on the Russon Mortuary & Crematory Facebook page and on this obituary page. The livestream will begin 10-15 minutes before the service begins at 11am. Following the service, Martha will be buried in the Kaysville City Cemetery.