Obituary of Sarah Delaney Gardner
Sarah Cary Delaney Gardner, age 93, of Roanoke died Monday, December 2, 2019 at Our Lady of the Valley in Roanoke after spending 11 months in hospice care. She was born in Alexandria, Virginia on June 30, 1926 to Rev. Ernest McDowell Delaney and Jean Fisher Graves Delaney. She grew up in Bedford and graduated from Bedford High School and Randolph-Macon Women’s College. She later took graduate courses in the School of Applied Social Work at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland and at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work in Richmond.
Ms. Gardner was a resident of Roanoke for 60 years. Her early career was as an adoption caseworker for the Children’s Home Society. After spending many years as a community volunteer, she continued her career as the Director of Social Services at the Lewis-Gale Hospital in Salem for 14 years.
She received the Pioneer Award from the Virginia Chapter, Society for Hospital Social Work Directors in 1987.
Ms. Gardner was a member of Second Presbyterian Church, First Presbyterian Church, and Raleigh Court Presbyterian Church. She was a past member of The Roanoke Country Club, The Junior League of Roanoke Valley, Dogwood Garden Club, DAR, and Colonial Dames of America.
She was preceded in death by her stepson, John Norwood Gardner, her sister, Jean Delaney Cobbs, and her daughter, Margaret Gardner Ryther, who died in 2016.
She is survived by her daughters Katherine Dunlap of Raleigh, Sallie Godwin of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Anne Gardner of Sinks Grove, West Virginia. Other survivors include her 15 grandchildren: Katherine’s daughters Cary Brege and Martha Bader of Raleigh; Sallie’s children Robert Turcott of Tulsa, Meredith Turcott of Vinita, Oklahoma; Amanda Godwin of Lawton, Oklahoma, Megan Gause of Fort Collins, Colorado, and Carly Godwin of Fayetteville, Arkansas; Margaret’s children Peter Ryther of New York City, Sarah Beth Ryther of Irvine, California, and Andrew, Nathan, and Molly Ryther of St. Paul, Minnesota; Anne’s children Stephanie Harris of Rocky Mount, Stephen Wittkamper of Charles Town, West Virginia, and Sallie Anne Wittkamper of Sinks Grove, West Virginia.
A memorial service for Ms. Gardner will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, January 18, 2020 at Second Presbyterian Church of Roanoke. Her ashes will be buried in the family plot at the Longwood Cemetery in Bedford in a private ceremony. In lieu of flowers, if you wish to make a memorial gift, please donate to your charity of choice or to the Crossnore School and Children’s Home in North Carolina.
Arrangements are being handled by Updike Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Bedford.