MISSOULA — Billie Irene Gardner, 80, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, at Village Heath Care Center of natural causes. She was born March 31, 1937, in Rock Springs, Wyoming, to Bill and Peggy Muir.
She graduated from Missoula County High School in 1954 and later the University of Montana, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in education. She met and married Richard (Dick) Williams in 1956 and had four children together. In 1971 they moved to Boise, Idaho, where she taught at Boise State College, and later moved back to Missoula that same year. She was proud to have started a pinochle club in 1960 which carried on over the many years and is still together to this day. Later in life while living in Frenchtown, she was heavily involved in the Foster Grandparent program through the Frenchtown schools, where she impacted the lives of many children in the community, some of which she kept in contact with until her passing.
On May 30, 1981, she married Raymond (Pete) Gardner and not long after retired from Western Montana Bank as a loan officer in 1986. They spent the next 36 amazing years together in a deep and loving marriage until she passed.
She is preceded in death by her parents, step father Ralph Blotzke, and daughter Shelley Williams. She is survived by her husband Pete, sister Barbara Evans, children; Mike (Janet) Williams, Kelly Johnson, Pat (Susie) Williams, and numerous nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
A graveside service will be held Monday, Oct. 16, at 1 p.m. at St. Mary’s Cemetery, 641 Turner St., Missoula 59802. In lieu of flowers please make donations in her name to the Humane Society of Western Montana, 5930 Highway 93 S., Missoula 59804. Condolences can be left for the family at gardencityfh.com.