Barbara Wager Gardner was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on December 22, 1939, to Ferris T. and Anna Wager and passed away on February 8, 2024, in Salt Lake City, Utah, at 84 years young. Her tremendous kindness, warmth, and generosity will be remembered by all who knew her, as she never met a stranger and made many friends wherever she went. Devoted to her family, not a morning went by without her sending a colorful and loving text to her loved ones.
Barbara lived in Salt Lake City with her parents and brother, Bruce, when her father went to work for Salt Lake Desk Company. She attended South High, where she met her former husband, Robert Gardner. She raised her children in West Valley City (Granger) and worked for the State of Utah in the Division of Public Utilities, licensing trades of all types. After retiring, she followed her love of Nevada and moved to Reno, where she worked for Tanamera as a concierge, allowing her to create special friendships with people who became like family. Wanting to be close to her lifelong friends and family, she returned to Salt Lake City seven years ago with her beloved cats, Leo and Tigger.
Barbara enjoyed dancing and sharing her famous macaroni salad at gatherings of all kinds. Her love of football and NASCAR was well known. She coordinated fantasy leagues for both and dominated her NASCAR league’s champion title for almost a decade. Her infectious smile and cheerful, bubbly personality will be fondly remembered and deeply missed.
Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, Ferris T. and Anna Wager. She is survived by her younger brother Bruce Wager of Crivitz, Wisconsin, son Treg (Jennifer) Gardner of Reno, Nevada, and daughter Stephanie Jo Spjut of Bountiful, Utah. As a profoundly caring grandmother, she will be missed by her grandchildren Marquel (Chandell) Noorlander, Amanda (Terry Berg) Gardner, Joshua Gardner, bonus grandchildren Jacqueline (Rusty) Scovel, Jillian Scanio, her precious great-grandson, and three bonus great-grandchildren, as well as numerous cousins and friends in Reno and Salt Lake City who she considered family.
A celebration of life will be scheduled for this summer.