Marjorie H. Gardella
April 18, 1933 - January 19, 2023
Mother, great-grandmother, wife, and friend of many, passed away peacefully on Thursday evening January 19 at the age of 89 years. She is survived by her devoted husband Paul Gardella, brother Douglas Hay (Whately, MA), children Julie Lundgren (Albany, NY), and Gary Lundgren (Saco, ME); grandchildren Erik Lundgren (Gorham, ME) and Jamie Bybee (Buffalo, NY). Marj is predeceased by her brother, Wendell Hay, Jr.
For the past 16 months, Marj was attended by a caring community of doctors, nurses, social workers, and aides at the St John's Penfield NY Green Homes.
Her career as an RN ended with her position at the Genesee Hospital as Director of Pediatric nursing. Marj was a member of the First Unitarian Church of Rochester for 58 years, where she was active in choir, landscape, programming, membership, and board of trustees, RAIHN, and School 22.
Marjorie Gardella, age 89, passed away peacefully on Thursday, January 19, 2023, in Penfield NY. She was the wife of Paul Gardella with whom she shared 37 years of marriage. Marjorie (Hay) Gardella grew up in Rumford, Rhode Island, daughter of Wendell and Ruth Hay.
She graduated from Roger Williams University as a nurse, married her high school beau Larry Lundgren and moved to Rochester NY where they raised two children. She worked as a pediatric nurse and administrator at Strong and Genesee Hospital for many years until retirement and loved interacting with kids wherever she went.
In 1968, Marj and her family spent a year in Finland. While not speaking the language, she kept the family on course, allowing children Gary and Julie to benefit from a life-changing experience. Marj was always upbeat, friendly, and curious. She was a true New Englander: her dad took her to Red Sox games and she became a Sox fan and she never completely lost her Rhode Island accent.
In mid-life, Marj met Paul Gardella at the First Unitarian Church in Rochester NY. By then they also happened to be neighbors on Westland Ave in Brighton. They were married at the Unitarian Church on June 14, 1986. She loved gardening and the outdoors. She had a small greenhouse and a spectacular garden at their Penfield home and she and her husband were very active in caring for the extensive gardens at the Unitarian Church. After retirement, she founded a gardening club, the Garden Path of Penfield. She and Paul loved to travel. They traveled to Austria, Switzerland, Italy, the Caribbean, Costa Rica, Canada, Florida, and around the northeastern U.S.
Marj considered her most exciting experience to be hiking in the mountains of Switzerland and the photos continued to bring her joy up until her last days. She suffered from Alzheimer's but remained alert and able to recognize those close to her and enjoyed looking at photos, going outside, visits and music. She remained at home under Paul's care until the fall of 2021 when she went into St John's Green Home, a small group home in Penfield. In addition to her husband Paul, she is survived by her brother Douglas Hay (Whately, MA), her first husband Larry Lundgren (Sweden), her children Gary Lundgren (Saco, ME) and Julie Lundgren (Albany, NY), Paul's children Mike Gardella (Rochester, NY) and Jennifer Faircloth (North Carolina), and their respective spouses/partners, grandchildren, and several great-grandchildren. For photos of Marj, please click on the tributes tab.
Marj will be remembered at a service later this year at the Unitarian Church.
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