Mary Nell Gardner

October 12, 1937 - June 24, 2020

Mary Nell Elliott Gardner, 82, of Kountze, passed away peacefully on June 24, 2020. She was born on October 12, 1937, in Nederland, to Nelva Black Elliott and Robert Herman Elliott.

She grew up in Warren and attended Warren Schools. Mary Nell was active in sports and all extracurricular activities she could fit into a schedule and was the Valedictorian of her high school class in 1955.  Mary Nell attended Abilene Christian University and Sam Houston State University where she was a member of Alpha Chi Omega Sorority.  Upon graduation she taught school in Houston for two years until her marriage.  After Mary Nell and Wilbern married she taught school in Silsbee until the birth of Elizabeth.  At that time, she chose to be a full-time mother until Cathleen was of school age. Mary Nell then taught at Kountze Elementary for the remainder of her career.  She retired in 1998.  Even while teaching Mary Nell continued to volunteer as a Blue Bird leader and Sunday school teacher.  She cooked hundreds of meals for those who were sick or bereaved and no one ever left the house in un-ironed clothes.

Mary Nell loved to travel and took several trips abroad to Europe and England.  Her grandchildren were the light of her life and for many years Mary Nell travelled to Tennessee for visits.  She loved all things British and probably made her way through all the British shows on Netflix in her final months.  Mary Nell was an avid reader and Bible scholar.

She is survived by her husband of fifty-eight years, Wilbern Gardner; daughters, Elizabeth Davis and her husband, Cory, of Nolensville, Tennessee; Cathleen Gardner of Sugarland; grandchildren, Graham, Scarlett, and Sloane Davis, of Nolensville, Tennessee; and sister, Jane Nierman and her husband, Steve, of Pinehurst.

Mary Nell is preceded in death by her parents, Herman and Nelva Elliott; and baby sister, Shirley Ann Elliott.

A gathering of Mrs. Gardner’s family and friends will begin 1:00 p.m., with her funeral service at 3:00 p.m., Sunday, June 28, 2020, at Lumberton Church of Christ, 90 W Chance Cutoff, Lumberton. Interment to follow at Allison Cemetery, Warren, under the direction of Broussard’s, 490 Cemetery Road, Silsbee.

She had a big heart for those less fortunate, especially children.  Memorials contributions can be made to Healing Hands International, 455 McNally Dr., Nashville, Tennessee 37211 or Arms of Hope Children’s Homes, 7065 Love, Quinlan, Texas 75474.

Please observe social distancing guidelines. By attending any public event you are acknowledging the risk of exposure to the Corona Virus. Please follow the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control:

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Allison Cemetery

Allison Cemetery
  • warren warren tx 77664

Funeral Service

Funeral Service
  • 90 W Chance Cutoff, Lumberton, Texas 77657
  • 06/28/2020
  • 3:00 pm

Gathering of Family and Friends

Gathering of Family and Friends
  • 90 W Chance Cutoff, Lumberton, Texas 77657
  • 06/28/2020
  • 1:56 am

Broussard's Mortuary - Silsbee, TX

Broussard's Mortuary - Silsbee, TX
  • 490 cemetery road silsbee tx 77656

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Jackie Holton

Mary Nell and Wilbern were caring friends to my parents, Howard & Beulah Willis, during their declining years with gifts from their garden and delicacies from the kitchen. I will always appreciate them for their caring ways and generosity. Mary Nell will be missed.

Mary Fears

I am saddened to learn of Mary Nell's passing. Mary Nell was such a happy, fun loving and caring lady. She was fun to be around and the life of the party. She adored her family and know she will greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with the family. God Bless

Jack Langston

Hardin county has lost another treasure. Mary Nell had a sharp mind and great memory. She knew a lot of gemology from Tyler county and Hardin County. Everyone that knew her will miss her greatly. No more pain my dear, you in the hands of God and His Son Jesus Christ forever.

milton and ruth mcneely

Elizabeth we have many fond memories of your mom she will be missed who knew her our prayers and thoughts or with you and your family

Glen and Darlene Beaman

We cherish the moments we shared at your home during special holidays with Mary Nell. She was truly a special woman as evidenced by the loving family that will miss her. You have our sincere condolences.

Naomi Standifer

Mrs Gardner was a wonderful person with a huge heart. For many years she her shopping list included something for a friend and lunch for her sweet heart. It was a treat to see her coming to Honey B., I will miss her.

Jo Ann Dixon

How blessed I’ve been to have had Mary Nell as a friend and teaching colleague . We shared many things through the years . I had the privilege of having Elizabeth and Cathleen as students in my class . I loved all the Mary Nellisms she would use for any given situation .Makes me smile even through my tears

Shawn Williams

She was my teacher and my childrens teacher. So sweet and caring. We just all loved Mrs. Gardner. Truly going to be missed . A wonderful teacher and lady.

Debbie Harrell Bishop

Sweet memories of Mary Nell when I was young - although I didn’t grow up in Warren, I stayed with my grandparents there and the Elliot’s were just down the street and good friends - so sorry for your loss❤️

Martha McCarley

I just found out about Mary Nell’s passing. I had the privilege of teaching with her in Kountze. She was such an inspiration in all she did. My Condolences to Elizabeth ,Cathleen, and Mr. Gardner. I also see that today Oct 12 is Mary Nell’s birthday. Happy Heavenly birthday Mary Nell! You are celebrating with Jesus.