Posted by Natasha Courter

Community News Editor

The Facts

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READING, Mass. — Betty M. (Burns) Gardner of Reading, Mass. died after a brief illness on Feb. 5, 2016.  Betty was born in Burlington, Vt. on Oct. 22, 1922. The daughter of Joseph L. and Louise M. (LaFreniere) Burns, she was predeceased by her sister Lois (Burns) Brown and brother, Joseph F Burns.

She attended Cathedral High School and worked at the Burlington Free Press after graduation and in later years as a secretary at Missisquoi Valley Union High School.  She was married to Mark R Gardner in 1948 until his death in 1972.  She spent most of her life in Swanton and summered in West Swanton.

Her sister M. Patricia Burns of Portland Maine; and her four children; Patrice Baker and her husband, Ricky, of Suffern, N.Y, Marka O’Connell and her husband, Gerard, of Reading, Mass., Jeffrey Gardner and his wife, Adrianne, of Carlsbad, Calif. and Jennifer Gardner of Reading, Mass. survive her.  She leaves 10 grandchildren; Meagan (O’Connell) Fazio, Brendan, Liam and Evan O’Connell, Hannah (Baker) Volekas, Samuel, Ethan and Sophie Hutchins and Taylor and Alex Gardner; and seven great grandchildren; Liam and Lennox O’Connell, Molly and Joseph Volekas, Will Fazio and Naveen and Kavi O’Connell. Her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren were the loves of her life.

Betty loved all things Vermont and always considered it home. A private memorial service will be held in April in North Hero and interment will be at the St. Mary’s Cemetery Swanton.   Contributions in Betty’s memory may be made to the MICU at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, c/o the Development Department, 585 Lebanon St., Melrose, MA  02176. To leave a condolence or share a memory, visit