On the night of Tuesday, January 22, 2019, Shirley McKinney Gardner, age 67, of the Rocky Pass Community passed away at St. Joseph's Campus in Asheville.

A native of McDowell County, Shirley was born on May 20, 1951, to the late Herbert and Estelle Vaughn McKinney. Shirley who had a loving heart for special needs children, retired from Western Carolina Center in Morganton after thirty years of service. Following her first career she spent the next several years teaching at Nebo Elementary. She enjoyed cooking and decorating, but most of all she loved spending time with her family especially her grandchildren. She was a devoted and caring wife, mother, sister and grandmother, and was a friend to all.

Shirley will be missed by all who knew her. Left to cherish her memory are her husband of forty four years, Douglas Gardner; two children, Jason Gardner (Mandi) and Sara Gardner; four siblings, Gene Robbins (Linda), Earl Robbins (Judy), Barbara Beam (Terry) and Mike McKinney (Ginny); mother-in-law, Marjorie Gardner; and one sister-in-law, Diane Stacey. Also surviving Shirley are her four grandchildren, Kassidy, Kobe, Eli and Yonah, and a number of nieces and nephews.

A funeral service will be held on Saturday, January 26, 2019, at 12:00 p.m., at Beam Funeral Service, with Reverend Ronnie Gentry officiating.

The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., prior to the service. Interment at Glenwood Baptist Church Cemetery will take place following the service.

Beam Funeral Service is assisting the Gardner family. For further information and/or to sign the online guestbook, please visit our website,, or call (828) 559-8111.

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Barbara, So Sorry for Your Loss.

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