Elaine Gardiner
Elaine Gardiner
Elaine Gardiner
Elaine Gardiner
Elaine Gardiner

Obituary of Elaine Marie Gardiner

Elaine’s heart was so much bigger than her body. Right from the start, in 1959, when she came into this world in Langenburg, Saskatchewan, at a hair over 3 pounds. Right until the end, with her sudden departure from this world at 63 years. That big heart filled her slight frame, such that there was no room for bitterness or spite. No space for even one vengeful bone in her body. 


We all knew the encompassing warmth of that big heart, and understood its boundless love with each of the many hugs she gave in her short time here. “Hugs are free,” she would say with a smile, as she squeezed and held on, never the first to let go. 


Elaine’s little heart had begun to grow the moment she arrived home from hospital, to the little Alberts’ house on the prairie. There, she was showered with love from her parents, Venita and Ralph, and her doting siblings, Laura, Karen, and Tommy. How they all adored their little peanut, the sisters arguing over whose bed Lainey would climb into each night–who got to share her warmth and cuddles. 


Her heart grew bigger and bigger, until one day it grew so big that it bumped into Blayne, and nearly knocked him off his feet. It was Elaine’s love of sports, and impressive knowledge of 1980 Olympic hockey teams that first drew Blayne into the inescapable orbit of her love. With Blayne, her heart’s love became even more beautiful, unconditional, patient, and kind. 


Together, their love made Grayham and Kyle. It bound their family of four so tightly together as they moved around from Calgary, to Regina, to Lloydminster, and to Venezuela, where Elaine’s love transcended language. After a stint in Australia, Blayne and Elaine returned home to Calgary to enjoy retirement–and welcome their two beautiful grandchildren, William and Victoria. 


Elaine loved those grandchildren so, so much. She was proud, never missing an opportunity to pull out her iPad to share her latest video of the family she loved so much, or create new videos and memories to be treasured and shared.


Sure, Elaine had other loves in life: as a young woman, competitive diving, and a nursing career that showcased her care for others. As an adult, five-pin bowling, the music of John Denver, and many athletes across many different sports–especially the Saskatchewan Roughriders, and tennis champion Rafael ‘Rafa’ Nadal. But Elaine’s reason for being was always, simply and purely, her entire family. 


Her heart overflowed with the love from her family. From the streets of Maracaibo, with two children safely in tow, to her second home in Phoenix, Arizona, to the Las Vegas strip with her dear siblings and parents — with their costumes and shows and hotel room happy hours — to every family gathering Elaine would be sure to attend, her love always had a way of finding you.


Elaine’s love found us through practical jokes (whether or not it was April Fool’s Day, which she loved), stories, and a decidedly optimistic outlook on life. She could find humour and joy in every crevice of this world. We all knew her warm smile, in every photo taken of her. And her laughter was so loud and full.  With her children, her husband, and especially her siblings, Elaine laughed and laughed and laughed until she cried.


Amidst our pain, we take comfort in knowing Elaine is sharing laughs and love with those who went before her; friends, cousins, aunts, uncles, and her loving parents Ralph and Venita. Elaine will be dearly missed forever by the countless people who so loved her back: her husband Blayne; sons, Grayham (Bianca) and Kyle (Lindsay); grandchildren, William and Victoria; siblings, Laura, Karen, and Tommy; and her many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins (who were more like siblings), and life-long friends.


Funeral Services for Elaine will held on Thursday, January 5th, 2023 beginning at 10:30 a.m. from St. Pius X Parish, 2424 24 Ave. NW, Calgary AB. with a reception to follow in the Parish Hall. In lieu of flowers, please consider instead a donation to STARS Air Ambulance.


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