Dottie (Dorothy) R. Gardner, 84, of Bristol

Posted 6/11/19

Dottie (Shin) Gardner, 84, of Byfield Street, Bristol, passed peacefully into the arms of her beloved Elbert on June 6, 2019. Per her wishes, her son Steven and daughter-in-law, Ann, worked …

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Dottie (Dorothy) R. Gardner, 84, of Bristol


Dottie (Shin) Gardner, 84, of Byfield Street, Bristol, passed peacefully into the arms of her beloved Elbert on June 6, 2019. Per her wishes, her son Steven and daughter-in-law, Ann, worked tirelessly to care for her so she could remain at home when she passed, surrounded by her loving family.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., the youngest daughter of the late Frank and the late Julia (Dayka) Shin, she married the love of her life, Elbert, and celebrated over 58 blissful years of marriage. He passed nearly five years before her, and she never stopped longing for the day they would be together again.

She is survived by her cherished children: daughter, Susan Payne (and husband Alan) of East Patchogue, N.Y., and her son, Steven Gardner (and wife Ann) of Bristol, R.I.

She was grandmother (known affectionately as “Ba”) to Ali Payne (and fiancé Matt Fagenbaum) and Hayley Dugan (and husband Jeff), both from Fairport N.Y., as well as Matthew and Julia Gardner (and Jacob Bodah) from Bristol, R.I. She proudly went from grand to great with the birth of great-granddaughter Madison Jayne Dugan in May. The grandchildren and her great-granddaughter were the joy of her life.

She is survived by her brother, Stephen Shin (and wife Judy) of Lake Placid, Fla. She has been reunited in heaven with her sisters, Annie and Gertrude, and her brother, Frank. Auntie Dots was a favorite aunt to numerous nieces and nephews.

Dottie graduated from Oswego State University with a degree in education and taught in Tennessee, Japan, and Pennsylvania before moving to Latham, N.Y., to settle and raise her family. She resided in Latham for over 40 years, working as an elementary school teacher in the North Colonie school district until her retirement in 1989.

She was well loved by her neighbors and respected by her students, many of whom reached out to her later in life to thank her for her patience and persistence in encouraging them to always try their hardest to be the best.

In 2007, she and her husband moved to Bristol, R.I., where their son Steven built a house for them so they could be closer to family. She and Elbert shared the same passion for spending time with their family and welcoming visitors — especially their children’s friends, many of whom loved Dottie and Elbert like second parents.

The Fourth of July was a particularly favorite holiday, as Dottie and Elbert lived near the Bristol parade route, and their house bustled with activity as everyone gathered there every year for the festivities. They thrived on all the attention and action!

Dottie was also an avid reader who enjoyed crafting with yarn, writing letters and conversing with visitors.

A special thanks to all who loved Dottie, especially Candace Teixeira and her family who “adopted” Dottie. Her circle of love expanded to include them as they visited, celebrated, and supported Dottie this past year.

Services are private. Donations may be made in her name to Hope Hospice & Palliative Care, Rhode Island, 1085 North Main St., Providence, RI 02904 or

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